Viewing Record 59 of 93 abstract

Pyre XII, from the "Pyre" portfolio

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Ficek-Swenson, Bernice
  • Date:
  • Medium:
  • Dimensions:
    image: 9 in x 7 3/8 in; paper: 16 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in
  • Credit Line:
    Museum purchase


About the Photographer

Ficek-Swenson, Bernice

American, b. 1951

The photographs in Bernice Ficek-Swenson's Pyre portfolio (2001-2006) capture the ephemeral and continually varied forms of burning fires in a series of close-up views. In some of the images, regimented rows of smooth, round stones determine the path of the flames and affirm the fire's presence in a concrete world. In other images the flames are captured against a backdrop of darkness, the dynamic forms verging on abstraction or, in the case of a few longer exposures, appearing as hazy clouds of light. The portfolio is printed as a set of twelve photogravures, a printmaking process widely used in the 19th century that yields a soft but grainy quality in the overall image and an almost velvety sense of tactility. Ficek-Swenson earned a BA and an MFA at the University of North Dakota, Grand Fork, and an MA at the State University of New York, Oswego. She is a professor of art at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls.