Sharon Mizota reviews the exhibition Robert Swain: The Form of Color at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, on view through August 23, 2014.
Mizota writes: "Designed specifically for the space and light of the museum, the paintings are not so much individual works as a kind of sensory installation. Although the squares are discrete — there is no attempt to blur the lines between them and each color is noticeably different from its neighbors — the works bring to mind the more misty perceptual interventions of James Turrell, in which it sometimes feels like the artist’s canvas is the back of your eyeball itself... they induce a kind of sensory vertigo. The squares appear to ripple and shimmer as if animated, although this effect is almost a fugitive motion, as if glimpsed out of the corner of one’s eye. Or perhaps it’s a sensation experienced on a level more visceral than optical, as a welling up or a tamping down of some inchoate feeling."