Rob Swainston
Brooklyn and Queens, NY


Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and based in New York, Rob Swainston is an Assistant Professor of Art+Design in Printmaking at Purchase College and Master Printer for collaborative printshop Prints of Darkness. His art sits at the intersection of printmaking, painting, installation, and sculpture. Rob received a BA in Political Science and History from Hampshire College and an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. With this dual focus, Rob claims: “All images are historically negotiated assemblages between humans, machines, materials, and social structures. In a society where social knowledge and power have become pure image, the print technologies historically central to this transformation can act as double-agent. Artists working in print media can be chameleons moving between image-makers and image-reproducers.” Rob has been awarded numerous residencies including Skowhegan, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Solo and group exhibitions include Marginal Utility, David Krut Projects, Bravin Lee Programs, Socrates Sculpture Park, Smack Mellon, Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, IPCNY, Canada Gallery, Queens Museum, and the Bronx Museum.

Swainston began teaching in the printmaking program at Purchase College during 2012–13 as a part-time lecturer and in 2013–14 as a visiting assistant professor. He has been a visiting artist/critic at numerous institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, SUNY New Paltz, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, College of St. Rose, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, California State University at Long Beach, Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University, and Columbia University.  Rob is the Ludwig Foundation Professor for Printmaking at Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin for 2020-21.

2006    MFA Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York, NY
2000    MA candidate Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
1997    BA Social Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020    Essential Services collaboration with Zorawar Sidhu, 601 ArtSpace,
           New York, NY
           America is Really Hard to See, Spring / Break Art Fair, New York, NY
2019    THE BRAINS, Super Dutchess, New York, NY
2016    We thought they thought what we thought, but they didn’t.­­ University                                              Galleries Illinois State, Normal, IL (curated by Barry Blinderman, catalogue)
2016    They said what we said, only clearer. Marginal Utility, Philadelphia, PA
2015    Carry On, Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY
2014    Redacted (two person show), Public/Private, Old School, New York, NY
                        (curated by Eve Sussman and Simon Lee)
2013    Woodcut Map of Utopia from the Sept. 2013 Edition, Marginal Utility,
           ​Philadelphia, PA
2012    Handgepäck, Neuwerk-Kunsthalle, Konstanz, Germany
           Below Orion’s Belt, Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2011    PLEXUS, Esther Massry Gallery, College of St. Rose, Albany, NY
2010    Propositions, David Krut Projects, New York, NY
           Centennial Drift, BravinLee Programs, New York, NY
2009    Centennial, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA
2008    Recombinant Histories, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA
Selected Awards

2020    Ludwig Foundation Professorship for Printmaking, Wiessensee
                       Kunsthochschule, Berlin, GERMANY
2019    Finalist 94th Annual International Competition, Print Center,
                       Philadelphia, PA
2017    Artist-in-Residence, Danish Technical Museum, Helsingor, Denmark
2016    Artist-in-Residence, Seven Below, Burlington City Arts, Burlington, VT
           Fellowship, Art and Law Program, New York, NY
2015    Fellowship, Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY
2013/4 Research Residencies, Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium
2013    Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Art, New York, NY
2012    Fellowship, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, NY
2011/2 Fellowship, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
2011    Residency, Seven Below, Burlington City Arts, Burlington, VT
            Residency, Salem2Salem, Salem Art Works, Salem, NY
            Artist-in-Residence, Islip Museum Carriage House, Islip, NY
2010    Residency, Salem2Salem, Salem Schloss, Salem, Germany
2009/10Fellowship, Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, New York, NY
2009    Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Art
           Residency, Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, Co
2008    Residency, Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium
2007    Residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
2006    Fellowship, Hayward Prize, Summer Academy, Salzburg, Austria
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019    Forms of Enclosure: New Prints, IPCNY, New York, NY
           Pulled in Brooklyn, (represented as Master Printer), IPCNY, New York, NY
           Human Condition, Guttenberg Arts, Guttenberg, NJ
2018    XTCA Cross Town Contemporary Art, UMASS, Amherst, MA
           475 Kent, Spring Break Art Fair, New York, NY
           New Editions, Paper Crown Press, E/AB Art Fair, New York, NY
           Skowbooks, Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing, Book Fair, NYC
           Dialogues in Print, Monmouth Museum, Lindcroft, NJ
2017    Excavation, Illusion+Artifact, Munsion Williams Proctor Arts Museum,
                    Utica, NY
           Signs and Signifiers, Davis Gallery at Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
                    Geneva, NY
            Dream of Flight, Danish Technical Museum, Helsingor, Denmark
            Published by the Artist, IPCNY, New York, NY
            Dialogue(s) in Printmaking, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
            Dialogue(s) in Printmaking, Atalier Gallerie21, Cologne, Germany
            Virtual to Physical: thepostdigitalprintmaker, Manhattan Graphics, NYC
2016     Fixed/Fluxed, Burlington City Arts
            ALOE: A Language of Exaltation, FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
            Dialogue(s) in Printmaking, ICPNA Museum Biennial, Lima, Peru
            Printer’s Printer, 20/20 Robert Blackburn Gallery, New York, NY
            The Things I Carried, Blue Star Arts Center, San Antonio, TX
            We’re Talking About Practice, San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX
2015    Bronx Calling; Third AIM Biennial, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY
            Moving Images: Printmaking and Animation, IPCNY, NY
            FLOW 2015, Public Project with Randall’s Island Park Alliance, NYC Parks
                       Commission, and the Bronx Museum, New York, NY
            Commedia, International Print Center of New York(IPCNY), New York,NY
            Party Beuys: What comes after Farce, collaborative project with East
                       River School Painters, Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY
            50/50 New Prints, IPCNY, New York, NY
2014    Somewhere and Nowheres, IPCNY, New York, NY
            New Prints Summer 2014, IPCNY, New York, NY
            New Prints Winter 2014, IPCNY, New York, NY
2013    The Morphology of the Print, Lehman Collage Gallery, Bronx, NY
            Do It (Outside), Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY
            Lithography Here and Now, 20/20 Robert Blackburn Gallery, NYC
            Brooklyn Prints, St. Joseph College, Brooklyn, NY
2012    Ctrl+P: New Directions in Printmaking, Arlington Arts, Arlington, VA
            Second City Psychasthenia, Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY
                       Revisions, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
            Appearances 2012/Provincetown Green Arts Festival, Provincetown, MA
            Beached, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA
2011    The Sound of Two Hands Clapping, NADA Hudson, Canada Gallery,
                       Hudson, NY
            Processed, Omni Gallery, Uniondale, NY
            New Prints Summer 2011, IPCNY, New York, NY
            Round 1, Lambert Fine Arts, New York, NY
            Vista, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY
            Site 92: Work Permit Approved, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY
2010    4x4: A Printeresting Curatorial Project, Muhlenberg College, Allentown,
            Planet of Slums, Mason Gross Galleries, New Brunswick, NJ
                        (curated by Latoya Ruby Frazier and Omar Lopez-Chahoud)
            E/AB Fair, David Krut Projects, New York, NY
            Reclaiming Vistas, Puffin Foundation Cultural Center, Teaneck, NJ
            Printable: Philagrafika 2010, Serapin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2009    X-Initiative: No Soul for Sale, Vox Populi, New York, NY
            The Relief Print: Changing Surfaces, Arts Guild of Rahway, NJ
2008    475 Kent Lives, Queens Museum of Art at Bulova, Queens, NY
            Intellectual Property, Meat Market Gallery, Washington, DC
            Journey to the Center of Uranus, Canada Gallery, New York, NY
2006    Manhattan Project, Frederic Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL
            Columbia University MFA Thesis Exhibition, Brooklyn, NY (curated by
                      Jenny Moore)
2005    XC Project, Scope Miami Int’l Art Fair, Miami, FL (curated by Koan-Jeff
            Metaphase, Wallach Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY
            Made in America, Pickled Art Center, Beijing, China (curated by Koan
                      Jeff Baysa)
            Panopoly, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY
2004    1st Annual Peekskill Arts Festival, Peekskill Project, Peekskill, NY
            Objects of Desire II, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New
                      York, NY
Master Printing
2006-Present   Master Printer and co-founder Prints of Darkness, NYC
Prints of Darkness is a fine art collaborative printshop located in NYC since 2006.  The shop operates on a contract printshop model where artists work directly with master printer Rob Swainston on print editions, unique multiples, or singular prints.  The shop is set up for relief, etching, silkscreen, lithography, and inkjet printing.  Specialties include innovative layer of different processes and integrating new digital processes such as CNC plate fabrication and digital imaging platforms with older print technologies.  Our strength is identifying elements within an individual artist’s practice that synergizes with traditional and contemporary print processes.
Prints of Darkness (PoD) has been fortunate to work on many projects with some fantastic artists.  PoD has ongoing collaborations with Charline von Heyl, Dana Schutz, and Uri Aran.  In 2016 PoD produced an edition with Dana Schutz for Text zur Kunst.  The 2014 Whitney Biennial had four artists who work with PoD—Uri Aran, Jacolby Satterwhite, Emily Sunblad, and Charline von Heyl.  Work produced in collaboration with von Heyl was featured in MOMA’s ‘Abstract Generation: Now in Print (2013).  Cheyney Thompson, another PoD collaborator, was also featured in this show.  The 2012 Whitney Biennial included five artists who have worked with PoD—Robert Gobber, Renna Spaulings (John Kelsey, Jutta Koether, Emily Sundblad), and LaToya Ruby Fraizier.  The series Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital) that Frazier exhibited in the 2012 Biennial were phot-litho/silkscreens produced in collaboration with PoD.  The 2013 Venice Biennale included prints by Gavin Brown artist Uri Aran made at PoD.  In 2011 the shop produced a benefit print project, SKOWBOX, for Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.  Artists on this project included Robert Gober, Mark Grotjahn, Dana Schutz, Kiki Smith, and Kara Walker.  The shop has also completed projects with Daniel Bozhkov and Eve Sussman, among others.  In 2012 the shop produced a benefit print for the Chinati Foundation with Charline von Heyl, and a benefit edition with Dan Schutz and Publisher Susan Englett for the E/AB Print Fair.  In 2013 the Swiss print collective Schweizerishce Graphische Gesellschaft commissioned the shop to produce an edition for DAS INSTITUT artists Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder.  In 2015-16 since moving locations and expanding the shop has worked with, among others, Dana Schutz, Charline von Heyl, Matt Keegan, Ryan Sullivan, John Kelsey, John Beech, and Uri Aran.
2008    Master Printer, Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, NY
                 Led project with Rikrit Tiravanija
2003-08 Printer, Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, NY
            Worked as a printer/assistant on a number of collaborative projects.  Artists included: Polly Apfelbaum, Ernesto Caivano, Mark Dion, Barnaby Furnas,
Dana Hoey, Yun-Fei Ji, Dana Schutz, Dasha Shishkin, Shahzia Sikander,
Kiki Smith, Sarah Sze, Paula Wilson, and Terry Winters
Selected Publications
2016    Blinderman, Barry, “We thought they thought what we thought, but they
                   didn’t.” Exhibition brochure and essay, University Galleries, Illinois
            “Who Owns the Sky?”  Carrier Pigeon 16, Cover and Featured Artist, vol.
                   4, nr. 4
2015    Tallman, Susan, “Patterns of Interference: Review IPCNY New Prints
                  2015/Winter”, Art in Print, pp. 31-33, July-August 2015, vol. 5 nr. 2.
            Erdos, Elleree, “Edition Review: Who Owns the Sky?”, Art in Print,
                   March- April 2015, vol. 4 nr. 6.
            Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial, Catalog, Bronx Museum
2014    Standish, Stephanie and Rooney, Ashley, American Printmakers, Schiffer
                    Publishing, 2014.
2012    Berger, Jamie and Berger, Keith, PUSH Print: 30+ Artists Explore the
                    Boundaries of
 Printmaking.  Asheville, NC. Lark Books, 2012.
2011    Roca, Jose, Perkins, Caitlin and Hirsh, Jennie, The Graphic Unconscious.
                    Philadelphia, PA. Philagraphika, 2011.
           Schultz, Charles, “Art You Can Move In: Prints and Installation Art”, Art
                    in Print, p. 10-17. Sept-Oct 2011, vol. 1 nr. 3.
           Corcoran, Sean, WGBH NPR Boston, "Provincetown Prices Out Young
” Nov. 14, 2011.
           Hanl, Sarah Kirk, Art 21 Blog, "Ink/The Lexicon of Tomorrow: Print Based
                     Installations”, 2011.
           Connell, Lisa D., Hudson Register-Star, “NADA Art Space at Basilica
 features Art and Culture for Today”, August 1, 2011.
           Aragon, Miguel A. Printeresting, "All That is Solid...", 2011.
           Printeresting, "Rob Swainston's Carving it Up", 2011.
2010    Schmidt, Jason, V-Mag, “Work in Process”, p.46-7, Summer 2010.
           Meade, Fionn, PS1 Curator’s Pick, “PS1 Studio Visit”, 2010.
           Meade, Fionn, Sculpture Center, “Curators Notebook”, 2010
2009    Vox Populi, “Vox Populi: We're Working On It”, Catalog, 2009.
Selected Artist Lectures and Visiting Critic
2016    Visiting Artist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
            Visiting Artist, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
            Visiting Artist, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
            Visiting Artist, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
            Studio Lecture, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (PAFA), Philadelphia,
            Artist Lecture, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
            Panel Discussion, Robert Blackburn Workshop, Printer’s Printer, New
                   York, NY
2015    Speaker, Print Think 2015: Mutable Matrix, Tyler School of Art,
                   Philadelphia, PA
           Artist Lecture, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
2014    Visiting Artist, PAFA, Philadelphia, PA
2013    Panelist, Glimpses of Autonomy, PAFA, Philadelphia, PA
2012    Visiting Critic, SUNY Purchase College, Purchase, NY
2011    Visiting Artist, College of St. Rose, Albany, NY
2010    Visiting Artist, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Chicago, IL
            Visiting Critic, State University of California Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
            Visiting Artist, Mason Gross School of Art, New Brunswick, NJ
            Visiting Artist, Columbia University, New York, NY
2008    Guest Critic, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Selected Teaching

2020-21          Ludwig Foundatoion Professor for Printmaking, Weissensee
                             Kunsthochschule Berlin, Berlin, GERMANY
2015-Present   Assistant Professor of Art and Design, Printmaking, SUNY
 College, NY
2014-15          Visiting Artist, Studio Arts, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson,
2013-14          Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Design, SUNY Purchase
, NY
2013               Adjunct Faculty, Printmaking, SUNY Purchase College, NY
2009-10/2013  Adjunct Faculty, Printmaking, New Jersey City University, Jersey
                              City, NJ
2007-09           Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University, New York, NY