HomePage Artists

b. 1973, USA

Spencer Sweeney Biography

Emerging in the 1990s as artist, musician, DJ and owner of Santo's nightclub in New York City, Spencer Sweeney is the 'Downtown Renaissance' artist of new era New York. His versatile practice shifts across genres and styles within visual art, music and performance. A varied methodology and reciprocity of influences create a hardcore ethic to his work derived from both his persona and the potential of public exposure. Challenging traditional norms of a gallery space while attempting to transcend its very system, his multifaceted approach has created a vital energy for his work. Key to his exhibitions are unusual and informal displays. Shown on anything from temporary stands such as easels, hanging and leaning on walls, and scattered around spaces, his paintings defy definitions, often changing styles and built on vastly different references. They are 'A dashed-off slacker anthem to portraiture, embedded in a tradition of painting Sweeney manages to revive, [his] works depict mark-like faces loaded with melancholy and self-irony'.

Read More

Collaborations with other artist-musicians such as Kembra Pfahler and Urs Fischer, relationships he often debuted at his nightclub Santo's, before testing them in the white cube spaces of the galleries, bring the energy of a 'Horse Meat Disco' party into his practice. At HdM Gallery in Beijing in 2018 Sweeney was invited to curate a show entitled New York by Night, which included respected artists such as Urs Fischer, Cy Gavin and Marcus Jahmal to visually express the joys and intrigues of night life - the bodies at play and musical performative energy—through their visual practices. As with club nights, familiarity is constantly overturned by innovation. 'Sweeney has reassessed his role as a cultural producer in a world where everything changes [ ... ] In a moment of cold-eyed clarity, a time of looking forward and inward, a time to dig deeper into the crates and into the mud of subjectivity. In order to lay hold of it there where it is made to happen and destroy it one more time, in order to re-appropriate its constant destruction and begin again from there', wrote John Kelsey.

Spencer Sweeney, born in 1973 in Philadelphia, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and lives and works in New York City. He has exhibited at MoMA PS1 New York, the Whitney Biennial New York, High Museum of Art Atlanta and is represented by the Gagosian Gallery, Gavin Brown's Enterprise New York, the Modern Institute Glasgow and Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin.

Text courtesy HdM GALLERY.

Spencer Sweeney Featured Artworks

View All (36)
Untitled (17) by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyUntitled (17), 2014Pastel on paper
35.6 x 29.5 cm
HdM GALLERY Enquire
Untitled (10) by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyUntitled (10), 2014Oil pastel on paper
32.4 x 25.4 cm
HdM GALLERY Enquire
Untitled (9) by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyUntitled (9), 2014Oil pastel on paper
32.4 x 25.4 cm
HdM GALLERY Enquire
Ladder to the Stars by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyLadder to the Stars, 2019Oil pastel and coloured pencil on paper
49 x 39.7 x 3.4 cm
The Modern Institute Contact Gallery
MAYA by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyMAYA, 2019Oil pastel on paper
104.6 x 74 x 3.4 cm
The Modern Institute Contact Gallery
Soul 2 Soul by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneySoul 2 Soul, 2019Oil pastel and glitter on canvas
88.3 x 66.9 x 3.4 cm
The Modern Institute Contact Gallery
Rouge, Bather by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneyRouge, Bather, 2018Acrylic, oil, oil stick on linen
66 x 42 inches
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Self-Portrait by Night by Spencer Sweeney contemporary artwork
Spencer SweeneySelf-Portrait by Night, 2018Oil, distemper and acrylic on linen
42 x 68 inches
Gagosian Contact Gallery

Spencer Sweeney Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Spencer Sweeney, Spencer Sweeney at HdM GALLERY, London
Closed
3 April–8 May 2020 Spencer Sweeney HdM GALLERYOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Spencer Sweeney, Smalls at Gagosian, Paris
Closed
14 October–20 December 2019 Spencer Sweeney Smalls GagosianParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Spencer Sweeney, The Pastels at The Modern Institute, Glasgow
Closed
16 March–11 May 2019 Spencer Sweeney The Pastels The Modern InstituteAird's Lane

Spencer Sweeney Represented By

HdM GALLERY contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom HdM GALLERY Beijing, Hangzhou, London

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Spencer Sweeney are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;
iCal
GoogleYahooOutlook