Swarbrick’s compositions rely on an intuitive sense of timing. They are rhythmical improvisations of line and form: vectors dart and weave across their surfaces, tangling the viewer’s eye in a net of interconnecting skeins or constructions, out of which three-dimensional spaces alternately pop up and fold back. These lines give the viewer, as they explore their configurations, a sense of empirical discovery not dissimilar to wayward diagrams. Static arrangements, his paintings nonetheless unfold like a performance, their spontaneity and invention perhaps best likened to the contemporary jazz of which Swarbrick is an aficionado.

In his process, Swarbrick relies on formal structures, which allow him to remain focused at the same time as being innovative; the constant of this formal and processual base reinforces the responsive and organic qualities of line. The carefully and laboriously prepared grounds are integral to the conversation, too. Line and form, apparently gliding on their surface, interact with the simulated materiality of the background to suggest complex and imbricated layers of image and paint. In sum, Swarbrick’s excitable molecular structures express a sense of joy in their fluid adventures.

Andrew Chesher

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