Amber Hawk Swanson (b. 1980) is a New York-based artist born in Davenport, Iowa. Her work deals with how the psychological debt of love animates us in a social-emotional economy.

Recent exhibitions and screenings include Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France); PS2 (solo, Belfast, UK); Denny Gallery (New York, NY); Momenta Art (Brooklyn, NY); and Locust Projects (solo, Miami, FL).

Hawk Swanson’s seminars and residencies include the New Museum Speculation Seminar, (New York, NY); a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Workspace Residency (New York, NY); an LMCC Process Space Residency (New York, NY); as well as residencies at Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY); MacDowell (Peterborough, NH); Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME); and the Sharpe-Walentas Space Program (Brooklyn, NY). Hawk Swanson is currently a Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Artist in Residence.

Scholarly writing on her work has been published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies (2015 & 2012), Theatre Drama Review (TDR, 2012), and Art and Architecture in the Americas (ARARA, 2016). Hawk Swanson's work has also been featured in several recent and forthcoming books. Grace Banks’ Play with Me: Dolls, Women and Art (Laurence King Publishing, 2017) features her sculpture “Amber Doll > Tilikum” (2011) while Cris Beam includes a chapter on her solo performance “Doll Closet” (Watermill Center, 2014) in the forthcoming book I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018). Amber Jamilla Musser’s Brown Jouissance: Feminine Imaginings (New York University Press, 2019) includes a chapter about Hawk Swanson's collaboration with performance artist Xandra Ibarra, “Untitled Fucking” (2013).

Recent visiting artist lecture appointments include Columbia University; New York University (NYU); Eugene Lang College, The New School; Hunter College; Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT); and Center for the Humanities, The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center (all New York, NY). She has additionally lectured at Yale University (New Haven, CT); McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada); Maine College of Art (MECA, Portland, ME); Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA, Baltimore, MD); Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY); East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO).

Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL).

Hawk Swanson holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Studio Arts, 2006) and is a recipient of a 2015 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Community Engagement Grant and a 2014 Franklin Furnace Fund Grant. She has recently taught in the Sculpture Departments of Rhode Island School of Design, RISD (Providence, RI) and Virginia Commonworth University, VCU (Richmond, VA). During the 2018-19 academic year, Hawk Swanson will join the faculty at Purchase College, SUNY (Purchase, NY) as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Design.

Portrait by Christa Holka.
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