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Zori Swanegan: In suspension, otherwise

October 27, 2023 October 29, 2023

dubious lift-off (2023), pastel and graphite on yupo paper, 5” x 7”.

Opening reception: Friday, October 27, 6 – 9pm
Open hours: Saturday, October 28th and Sunday, October 29th 12 – 6pm

A collection of drawings, prints, and one animation serving as windows before intangible subjects abbreviated in space.

Zori Swanegan (b. 1996, Kansas City, MO) is a visual artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her BA from UCLA in 2018. Her practice consists primarily of drawings that explore the association between an established visual plane and objects which aggrandize or invalidate it. Her work has been shown in Los Angeles at PSLA, Punto Lairs, and Human Resources. 


Zori Swanegan at Human Resources

Drawing is a mysterious act in which a two dimensional field meets the artist’s conscious and unconscious self. The plane on which the drawing occurs presents itself as neutral ground, but it is not. It is charged and prepared for transformation. Zori Swanegan leans into these dormant spaces, both in digital and physical realms, to conjure the appearance of forms.

Simple lines and shapes are summoned to create playful constellations in Swanegan’s drawings. At times these suspended forms are brought down to depict a landscape or settle in a stage-like arrangement. Some forms are gently rendered and pushed to the foreground as protagonists, while others accompany them or outline the surrounding scape.

These drawings are simple and abstract, they oscillate between complete ambiguity and suggestive interactions of pictoric components. The most descriptive work is perhaps the animated image that anchors the exhibition. Here, a mountainous form glides in space as two shapes hover above casting shadows. The two floating shapes function like clouds, but they come to a point on each side and are transparent against a black background. These are not clouds. Like much of Swanegan’s work, they are indefinable but allude to the world.

Many of the images in the exhibition were made digitally, defying materiality in their making while mimicking physical mark making. In some ways digital spaces work the way human minds do, storing away information, ready to be pulled into consciousness when drawn out. The source of the drawings comes from within the digital apparatus as from within the artist.

Swanegan’s digital prints, handmade drawings, and animation effortlessly compose forms into scenes. They speak both the language of contemporary illustration and abstract painting, refusing to surrender fully to either. Forms act as characters and gestures in open, untouched fields. In this suspended world of soft pinks, reds, and yellows – lines, scratches, blobs, and cloud-like figures meet to render a parallel reality. In this alternate domain, each mark embodies a unique role and follows a logic of its own. – Luz Carabaño