Henry Swanson’s artistic compositions draw viewers in with their deliberative compositions that invite prolonged observation as they unravel the meaning behind double images or paper scrawlings of an obscure subject matter. These paintings reflect his meticulous, thoughtful process as he investigates polarities and performative aspects that define contemporary art.
Florida native, he campaigned against urban sprawl that threatened Orange County agriculture and promoted conservation of essential aquifers. However, his support of William Jennings Bryan’s inflationary fiscal reforms caused concerns among conservative creditor interests.
Early Life and Education
Four Methodist laymen of Danville lent Swanson the funds he needed to attend Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. There he won oratorical prizes and edited its newspaper, Hanover and Caroline News. There he met Elizabeth Lyons whom he eventually married; after graduating he earned his law degree and immediately set up a successful practice in Chatham – Pittsylvania’s county seat.
His artwork stirs feelings of nostalgia as it engages visual abstractions. He uses classical painting techniques combined with mixed media textures reminiscent of American homes to craft nostalgic abstract pieces like double images of Dallas Mavericks fans or Victorian light fixtures painted above paper scrawling of obscure subjects, inviting onlookers to probe deeper for meaning, like an expert detective would. Ross+Kramer Gallery and Anthony Gallery have hosted his exhibitions.
Henry Swanson, a contemporary artist renowned for his use of cartoon imagery and hand-painted signage in his compositions, has had his works showcased at several prominent galleries and exhibitions throughout the US. His recent pieces investigate themes related to deception and esoteric interactions – often using deceptive tactics as part of their compositions.
His work explores the dissolution of innocence and pop’s codification of modern social experience. From t-shirts that bear “country club” and an FM radio hotline number to paintings depicting under construction suburban mansions, his pieces explore both privilege and self-sabotage in modern society.
He was an active participant in 4-H Club, an organization that offers educational experiences in agriculture and horticulture through projects like gardening, woodworking, food nutrition and livestock rearing. Furthermore, he advocated tirelessly on behalf of the Navy by working to get expansion bills passed in Congress.
Achievement and Honors
Henry Swanson has earned many honors and awards during his career at Laticrete, including receiving the Captain Don Peak Award which recognizes an individual for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities.
Swanson is a Postwar and Contemporary artist represented by Ross+Kramer Gallery in New York City. His work explores nostalgic imagery while employing visual abstraction. The inspiration for his pieces comes from childhood memories associated with cartoons.
Swanson was an outstanding performer on Wake Forest’s track and field team, earning three ACC Championships during his senior year and placing sixth overall at the 1998 ACC Indoor Championships. To this day he holds Wake Forest records for the 5,000m, 10,000m, steeplechase as well as winning twice at Men’s Cross Country.
Swanson was a man of discretion who kept to himself most of his personal life. Married and with three children – including one son – to care for, he enjoyed animals and gardening as hobbies, travelling extensively as he could afford it and attending sporting events when possible.
He was an outspoken supporter of the U.S Navy and national defense, even during hesitant Republican administrations, advocating for higher naval budgets and pushing for new weapons systems. Additionally, he wrote books detailing his political experiences as well as Orlando, Florida’s evolving economy.
Recent paintings by Hemke explore the unravelling of innocence and pop’s coding of modern social experience. From under-construction suburban mansions brimming with privilege and anxiety to FM radio hotline t-shirts advertising deceitful escort services, Hemke creates an unnerving depiction of deceptive pretenses and defective interpersonal interactions that may otherwise go undetected.
Swanson’s debut sound film ”Madame Sans Gene” was an unmitigated financial disaster; she ran up huge debts during production and spent most of her income.
She was also the heiress to the famous Hennessy cognac family, owning multiple properties across the country and performing as a popular singer at concert venues across America.
At last, she managed to rebuild her fortune through various businesses and become one of Hollywood’s wealthiest women. When she died on April 4, 1983 at age 84 she left an estate worth over $11 million, much of which went toward supporting charities including Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation; with any remaining money being left to her daughter.