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Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Untitled, 2012 Oil on linen, 24 × 20 inches (61 × 50.8 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Untitled, 2012

Oil on linen, 24 × 20 inches (61 × 50.8 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Lucille, 2017 Oil pastel on paper, 30 ⅛ × 44 ¾ inches (76.5 × 113.7 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Lucille, 2017

Oil pastel on paper, 30 ⅛ × 44 ¾ inches (76.5 × 113.7 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, To be titled, 2018 Pencil on paper, 11 ⅝ × 8 ¼ inches (29.5 × 20.8 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, To be titled, 2018

Pencil on paper, 11 ⅝ × 8 ¼ inches (29.5 × 20.8 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Suffering Bastard, 2018 Oil on linen, 66 × 42 inches (167.6 × 106.7 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Suffering Bastard, 2018

Oil on linen, 66 × 42 inches (167.6 × 106.7 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait Running Away, 2018 Oil on linen, 71 ½ × 43 inches (181.6 × 109.2 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait Running Away, 2018

Oil on linen, 71 ½ × 43 inches (181.6 × 109.2 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait San Vicente, 2019 Pencil on paper, 6 × 4 ½ inches (15.2 × 11.3 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Self-Portrait San Vicente, 2019

Pencil on paper, 6 × 4 ½ inches (15.2 × 11.3 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Daysailer, 2019 Distemper and oil pastel on paper, 22 ¼ × 30 inches (56.5 × 76.2 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Daysailer, 2019

Distemper and oil pastel on paper, 22 ¼ × 30 inches (56.5 × 76.2 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Justine, 2019 Oil pastel on paper, 19 ½ × 15 inches (49.5 × 38.1 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Justine, 2019

Oil pastel on paper, 19 ½ × 15 inches (49.5 × 38.1 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Untitled Figure, 2019 Oil on linen, 52 × 70 inches (132.1 × 177.8 cm)© Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney, Untitled Figure, 2019

Oil on linen, 52 × 70 inches (132.1 × 177.8 cm)
© Spencer Sweeney

About

In addition to making paintings, drawings, and collages characterized by infectious exuberance and raw materiality, Spencer Sweeney produces immersive multimedia environments that transform gallery spaces into open workshops and performance stages, exposing the traditionally private realm of the artist’s studio to public scrutiny.

Born in Philadelphia, Sweeney graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1997. He then moved to New York, where, in concert with his visual practice, he helped establish the nightclub Santos Party House and worked as a DJ. He also cofounded the seminal noise-art group Actress (1997–2001) with Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance, performing as its drummer at gallery and museum events including Criss Cross: Some Young New Yorkers III at MoMA PS1 in 1999. Sweeney cites jazz as having influenced his reliance on improvisation, and alongside frequent references to popular culture in his work, he alludes to the history of art. His reclining nudes, portraits, and self-portraits, for example, reverberate with the amplified and distorted voices of Pablo Picasso, Édouard Manet, and Henri Matisse, while also combining the extemporaneous vigor of Neo-Expressionism with the knowing repetition of signature motifs.

In 2015 Spencer Sweeney, a 500-page book of conversations between the artist and some of his myriad inspirations from the worlds of cinema, literature, music, New York nightlife, and contemporary art, was published, testifying to his fundamental investment in context and open exchange. Sweeney’s painting and drawing salon Headz (2017–)—a collaboration with Urs Fischer—hosts performances by experimental jazz musicians such as Pete Drungle, Craig Harris, and Jay Rodriguez, and has received international stagings in Berlin, Mexico City, and Paris. In his current work, Sweeney continues to invoke the spirit of “availablism” (a term coined by performance artist Kembra Pfahler to describe making art with materials to hand), interweaving images of disarming psychological directness with a fluid and multilayered examination of the creative process itself.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Georg Baselitz; © Louise Bonnet; © Zeng Fanzhi; © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Martin Wong

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2022

May 27–29, 2022, booth 1C15
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 with an ensemble of contemporary works by international artists. The gallery’s presentation will feature works by artists including Georg BaselitzLouise BonnetEdmund de WaalUrs FischerKatharina GrosseMark GrotjahnJennifer GuidiSimon HantaïHao LiangDamien HirstThomas HouseagoTetsuya IshidaAlex IsraelEwa JuszkiewiczRick LoweTakashi MurakamiAlbert OehlenNam June PaikGiuseppe PenoneRudolf PolanszkySterling RubyEd RuschaJenny SavilleJim ShawRudolf StingelSpencer SweeneyRachel Whiteread, and Zeng Fanzhi.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Georg Baselitz; © Louise Bonnet; © Zeng Fanzhi; © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Martin Wong

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (November), 2020 (detail) © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Art Fair

Zona Maco 2022

February 9–13, 2022, booth B115
Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City
www.zsonamaco.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce its return to Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo for the first time since 2018; significantly, this is also the gallery’s first in-person art fair of 2022. Gagosian is presenting a specially curated selection of dynamic paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by iconic figures long associated with the gallery, juxtaposed with works by key contemporary artists. Many of the featured artists are being represented at Zona Maco for the first time.

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (November), 2020 (detail) © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Georg Baselitz, No, ja, 2020 © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Art Fair

ART021 Shanghai 2021

November 13–14, 2021, booth C02
Shanghai Exhibition Center
www.art021.org

Gagosian is pleased to participate in ART021 Shanghai 2021. The gallery will feature works by artists including Georg BaselitzDan ColenEdmund de WaalRoe EthridgeUrs FischerKatharina GrosseSimon HantaïDamien HirstJia AiliHarmony Korine, Takashi Murakami (as an individual artist and in collaboration with Virgil Abloh), Rudolf StingelSpencer Sweeney, and Tatiana Trouvé

To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com.

Georg Baselitz, No, ja, 2020 © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, Spencer Sweeney: Perfect, Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut, May 10–September 10, 2022. Artwork © Spencer Sweeney

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Spencer Sweeney
Perfect

May 10–September 10, 2022
Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut
www.brantfoundation.org

Perfect traces Spencer Sweeney’s robust practice over the last few years, bringing together his psychologically rich figurative paintings and works on paper. The exhibition includes the artist’s large-scale variations on the nude in repose as well as a series of portraits that create a humorous and self-deprecating tableau of interior fantasies, insecurities, musings, and struggles involved in the creative process. Additional galleries feature announcement paintings centered around events, parties, and concerts that Sweeney helped organize as a vital presence in New York City’s nightlife and music scene. 

Installation view, Spencer Sweeney: Perfect, Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut, May 10–September 10, 2022. Artwork © Spencer Sweeney