Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Stephen Lowell Swanberg: in the abstract
by Joe Franco

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

With degrees in biological science and philosophy from Stanford University and a degree in biochemistry from Harvard, one might expect Stephen Lowell Swanberg to be speaking on pharmaceutical research or the advancements of mitochondrial DNA replication. But Swanberg took the road less traveled and has found himself abandoning his life of pipettes and centrifuges and embracing a life of brush, canvas and fresh paint as Chicago's latest abstract artist.

Swanberg was born in Minneapolis and ended up in Boston, living the life of a scientist. "I discovered in college that I liked biology and I thought that a degree in biology would lead to a job that paid—and it did," Swanberg told the Windy City Times. But Swanberg also acknowledged his creative side that had been with him since his early childhood. " I've played the violin since I was very young. My first work in science was part time and allowed me the freedom to both do science and play my violin."

Swanberg's multifaceted interests led him to an independent interest and study in contemporary art. "I attended a number of shows in New York through the 1990s and the early 2000s and found myself drawn to contemporary and abstract art," said Swanberg. After some thought, Swanberg believed that he would like to try painting to add to his creative outlet. So he became an autodidactic abstract painter. He acknowledged his early pieces were very "expressionistic" and full of color. "I found my early art very difficult to think and talk about. Since I enjoy thinking and talking about art with others I was determined to simplify the manner in which I worked," said Swanberg. "I found a format that worked for me."

His format has become one of his signatures—a grid, sometimes evoking a window. "When I look at these works I like to think about painting itself as an entryway, or a portal, peering into some other world." Swanberg found the idea of entering into his paintings to be one that appealed to him. "I've painted in such a way that one does not know whether they are looking out or looking in and honestly, I don't know which is the right answer," Swanberg revealed.

Swanberg's art is not necessarily science-inspired. There is a sense of order and rhythm that occur as a natural product of working with in a grid, but those pieces are used to explore, as Swanberg states, "the expressive use of rectangles, field of colors and appropriations." The idea of appropriating, particularly in the arena of art, is not new. Braques and Picasso certainly should come to mind when dealing with the appropriation of the cubist style. Swanberg's appropriations are subtler. "When I appropriate it may be a title, paying homage to an artist I admire, it may be a color or series of color. It is not an appropriation directly but indirectly from contemporary art."

One of Swanberg's larger pieces—called, simply, "The Factory"—is a series of 32 rectangles with pain applied by a algorithmic formula and pattern. "I thought about this piece and its title very carefully. For me, it reminded me of the way many old factories would paint over their windows to obscure one's vision," said Swanberg. Although he was reluctant to name "The Factory" as his favorite works, he admitted that the piece was certainly one of his favorites.

"When I approach a piece, I do so with only an amorphous idea of what the finished product will be," said Swanberg. "I have an idea of what I want the work to look like but you never really know what will happen. You may perceive a crisis and think the work in ruined but then after a while I can say to myself 'No. No. I can solve that problem.' This is simply the nature of the work," added Swanberg. "The inspiration can come while doing."

Swanberg has been working as an artist since 2002. He's had some smaller shows but none on his own. Several of his pieces hang in offices and financial institutions all over Boston but he has never had his own, solo show. His show on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Center on Halsted will be the first public solo show of Swanberg's work, and his elation was apparent. "This opportunity allows me to meet other artists and gallery owners who might be interested in my work." The show becomes as much about the art as it does about the artist's social and professional network.

For more information on Stephen Lowell Swanberg and for more information on his solo show at The Center on Halsted, please visit .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Partners in drama 2016-10-19 - Los Angeles-based writers and spouses Nancy Nyman and Heather McNama were grateful to win the 2015 Pride Films and Plays' LezPlay Competition with ...

Gay News

Queer comic artist/dancer Rosalarian makes what women really want 2016-10-19 - Femme comic-book artist/burlesque dancer Megan Rose Gedris is as unique as the artistic name given to her as a child. "The name 'Rosalarian' ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2016 Printable charts, early voting information, grace-period, registration 2016-10-19 - Charts Consult the Windy City Times 2016 General Election charts for endorsements and recommendations from a number of local and national organizations. See ...

Gay News

BENT NIGHTS Tim Cain; The Seth Bogart Show 2016-10-18 - More queerness... Taking up the flank for old-school queer rock we have Tim Cain and Boy's Entrance, and the new Tunnelvision on ...

Gay News

2015 Report on Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ, HIV-Affected Communities released 2016-10-18 - NATIONAL—Today the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) released its report Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence ...

Gay News

[Trans]formation to showcase works by trans, genderqueer, intersex, non-binary artists 2016-10-15 - Nothing Without a Company and The Living Canvas are proud to present the world premiere of [Trans]formation, devised by Ronen Kohn, Darling Squire, ...

Gay News

Celebrating queer artist Tseng Kwong Chi 2016-10-12 - On Oct. 1, The Mary and Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University presented "Five Takes on Tseng Kwong Chi" in celebration of the ...

Gay News

A'ville Arts Weekend Oct. 14-16 2016-10-12 - More than 30 businesses in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood will unite to showcase the work of more than 90 visual and performance-based artists for ...

Gay News

Joffrey starts Eatherly memorial scholarship 2016-10-12 - The partner of the late dance publicist Eric Eatherly, Jay Leibovitz, has joined Eatherly's mother Nancy Follis to launch a new scholarship for ...

Gay News

NO H8 photo shoot Oct. 12 in Chicago 2016-10-06 - An open "NO H8" photo shoot will take place Wed., Oct. 12, 5-8 p.m., at W Chicago-City Center, 172 W. Adams St. ...


Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by