In From The Dark Sea, Elizabeth Schwaiger utilizes the architecture of Jane Lombard Gallery’s new Tribeca location, taking full advantage of both floors to offer a spatially cogent exploration of external influence and internal psychology, of how we exist within a galaxy of competing demands and hushed anxieties that reach out to us from past and future to make our already precarious present all the more so. Schwaiger allows us to sit comfortably with that time slippage, to come face to face with concerns we might rather keep in the basement, as it were. To that end, the structure of the exhibition subtly pulls the viewer through the works and into the half-light of the lower floor of the gallery where the harmonies of the show slide into a minor key. In that underworld, Schwaiger’s paintings and sculpture become more complex and mysterious. The balance of the benign, and the malign tip as clearly recognizable imagery shifts to the uncanny, and gestural mark embraces the dynamic over the safety of balance.
Through the exhibition’s gamut of tone and complexity, images of high stakes political summits, of quiet interiors, of disaster, of luxury, of half-remembered parties, and ethereal overgrowth, of de-peopled museums and vacant artist studios, come together to give shape to the vivid internal dynamism of life in the shadow of forces seemingly beyond any of our individual influences. It serves as an invitation to look closely at what we intrinsically turn away from and find there not the unintelligible monsters of our fears, but something parsable and at times even exquisite. In the inevitable re-emergence of the viewer from the shadow regions of the gallery, and in the recrossing of the brighter side of the exhibition, what was half-hidden in the topside artworks is revealed. The avoidant lens shatters as once unseen power-differentials are glimpsed behind even the most serene foreground. The clear-eyed gift of katabasis is the understanding that these two views — finding the beauty of the moment and conversely taking in the whole of the dark reality for all its worth — are not incompatible but inseparable, that each is key to the other, that it is worth every effort to break the golden bough.
Elizabeth Schwaiger is a research-based artist living and working in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2011. In her decade-long exploration of power dynamics and the looming climate crises, Schwaiger uses a variegated symbolism of water, fracturing, dimensional overlay, gesture, and dialed levels of representational clarity to construct images suggestive of the interplay of the unseen forces that govern our world. She has exhibited in venues and biennials in the UK and the USA including in The Walker Gallery National Museum in Liverpool, The Macintosh Museum in Glasgow, The National Portrait Gallery in London, Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Glasgow International, Embassy Gallery in Edinburgh, Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio, and Co-Lab Projects and GrayDUCK Gallery in Austin. She was recently awarded a residency by The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation at the artist's studio estate on Captiva Island, Florida.
About Jane Lombard Gallery
Jane Lombard Gallery, although (re)opened in 2015, has a 25 year history and an established reputation for bringing to the forefront artists who work within a global perspective/aesthetic relevant to the social and political climate of today. The gallery seeks to promote both emerging and mid career artists in a variety of media - painting, sculpture, installation and film - in the US, Europe and Asia. Formerly Lombard Freid Projects, founded in 1995 in Soho, the gallery later moved to Chelsea, first to 26th Street and later to 19th Street in 2010. The gallery is now located in Tribeca at 58 White St.
COVID 19 Procedures
The gallery is open (walk-ins accepted depending on current number in the gallery, during set hours). Please check the gallery website for hours of operation, as they are subject to change. Masks are required for entry and sanitizer will be provided through no-touch sanitizer station(s). Guests will be required to sign in with their name and a valid email to assist with our contact tracing efforts. Exhibition material is available for contactless viewing through the use of QR codes and at the front desk. In addition, the gallery has installed a special air duct system that isolates the different areas of the gallery creating zones of supply and return air to prevent air mixing between spaces. There are also UV-C lights inside every supply duct to prevent the build up of mold, viruses & bacteria.