During my time as a painter, I have been motivated by a fascination with construction, space and change. Existing within the history and vitality of a city, and observing it as an artist, has become a great passion of mine. My recent paintings of urban landscapes reflect this passion, as well as my interest in the representation and visual construction of space and time on a two-dimensional surface. Our cities have experienced a profound amount of growth and change, and I am interested in how this has affected us, both positively and negatively. Within my work, my desire is to express this idea of expansion and growth, and to question its impact on our urban environments. This desire is present both in the paintings I create and in the way I work with the paint to create a sense of action and change. Through my urban landscapes, I am dealing with the fundamental creation and evolution of our cities, which become a direct reflection or manifestation of our society compressed into an orthogonal grid or abstract linear configuration. I believe that our environments and surroundings reflect who we are and what we are motivated by as a civilization. My work expresses ideas of expansion and contraction related to construction in urban and suburban environments, often connected to overcrowding populations and existential dissociation. Working with these ideas enables me to gain a better understanding of people, the environment, and myself.
Artist Bio / CV
Ben Schwab’s work has been featured in numerous gallery and university exhibitions throughout the United States, including: George Billis Gallery LA (Los Angeles); Delaware Art Museum (Wilmington); Gross McCleaf Gallery (Philadelphia); Chashama Gallery (New York City); Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore); Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio); Miami University (Oxford, Ohio); and several exhibitions in New York, California, Vermont, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
Ben’s awards include the Strategic Opportunity Stipend from the Arts Center of the Capital Region (New York Foundation for the Arts); the Professional Development Grant and the Scholars & Artists Grant - both from The College of Saint Rose for work and research in Tokyo, Japan; and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the United States Department of Education. A Javits Fellowship recipient for three consecutive years, Ben studied and traveled abroad in Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, England, the Netherlands and France.
Among Ben’s exhibition awards are the Best in Show Award in the “Annual National Juried Exhibition” at the Academy of Fine Arts (Virginia), from Juror George Billis; the Juror’s Award in “Drawing From Perception VI” at Wright State University (Ohio), from Juror Ruth Miller; the Juror’s Choice Award in the “44th Annual Delta Exhibition” at the Arkansas Arts Center (Arkansas) and the Juror’s Award in “Drawing From Perception IV” at Wright State University (Ohio) - both from Juror Graham Nickson.
Ben received a B.F.A. in Painting from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, and a M.F.A. in Painting from the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Ben has taught at various Universities and is currently an Associate Professor of Drawing & Painting at The College of Saint Rose (Albany, New York.)