Sculptor Erick Swenson to launch fall Visiting Artist Lecture Series

A young deer cast in polyurethane resin scrapes velvety antlers across a large Oriental carpet. A full-grown buck, covered in icicles, collapses in a blizzard.

Sculptor Erick Swenson creates elaborate, allegorical dioramas that recall the frozen tableaus of the natural history museum. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, Swenson will launch the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ fall Visiting Artist Lecture Series with a talk about his work.

The lecture is free and open to the public and takes place in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.

Swenson staged his first one-person show, “Obviously a Movie,” in 1998, a year before earning a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of North Texas, Denton. Now based in Dallas, he has exhibited his work at major institutions around the world, including The Saatchi Gallery in London, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, which included him in its 2004 Biennial Exhibition.

Subsequent speakers in the Visiting Artist Lecture Series will include Anna Gaskell (Oct. 3) and Judy Pfaff (Oct. 11). Gaskell is a photographer whose “staged narratives” are strongly influenced by film and painting, notably in their careful control of lighting and use of exaggerated camera angles and cropping.

Pfaff, a 1971 WUSTL alumnus, is internationally known for creating large-scale installations that combine painting, sculpture and architecture, producing dynamic, complex forms from found materials and elements of her own making.

Illustrator and art director Brian Rea, whose work has appeared in Spin, Newsweek, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Dwell, The Nationand other major publications, will speak Nov. 1.

The series concludes Nov. 14 with Rod Slemmons, director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago. Slemmons has served as national chair of the Society of Photographic Education; a peer reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts; and as a grant reader and site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, call 935-9300 or visit