Evolution (in order of appearance), 1999 cast resin, edition of 12 4 x 2.5 x 5cm (each) approximately
Accompanied by a sheet of paper inscribed by the artist 'Evolution (in order of appearance)' / order of sculls on shelf 1 to 5 - place evenly along shelf / Ricky Swallow October 1999', together with freehand drawings of 5 skulls labelled respectively from left to right : 1) Robot Like/Terminator 2) Large Fin/Gorilla 3) Small Fin/Zinc 4) Long Head + pointy cheek bones/Peking (sic) Man 5) Normal (Modern Man)/Human'
PROVENANCE: Purchased from Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney in March 2002
EXHIBITED: Contempora 5, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University in association with the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 16 September - 24 October 1999 ARCO 2002, Madrid, Spain, Exhibited by Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, 14-19 February 2002 Kiss of the Beast: From Paris Salon to King Kong, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 16 November 2005 - 22 January 2006, cat. no. 56
LITERATURE: Memory Made Plastic, Ricky Swallow and Darren Knight Gallery, 1999, p.39 (illus. detail) Justin Paten, Ricky Swallow - Field Recordings, Craftsman House / Thames & Hudson, Melbourne, 2004, p.40 (illus.)
Like most artworks Ricky Swallow creates, the cast resin sculpture assemblage Evolution (in order of appearance)is masterfully rendered, intricate and thought provoking. From ancient humans to apes through to robotics, Swallow's notion of evolution is jarring, unnerving and utterly seductive. Since the moment he began exhibiting in 1997 critics, curators and collectors alike fell under his sway. His meticulous craftsmanship combined with a feverish and startling imagination culminated in an inspiring pot pouri of drawings, sculptures and installation that culminated in 2005 with Swallow's selection to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale with the awe inspiring This time another year. Evolution, which has been illustrated in both the Memory Made Plastic catalogue (1999) and the book Ricky Swallow - Field Recordings by Justin Paten (2004), is a quintessential Swallow work, combining his fascination with both the biological and the man-made and questions the very nature of evolutionary gestation and the notion of the ageless theme of the memento mori. Swallow, who is now based in Los Angeles, has held solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Illinois, Dublin, Vienna, New York, Tokyo, Dunedin, Wellington, Oslo and throughout Australia, and has proven himself to be one of this country's most well-respected and sought after artists.