Eric Sweet

Region: Midwest

My current body of work is an intense exploration of the concept, establishment, and power of the “ideal” through the historical inventions of Minimalism, utopia, perspective, printmaking, and drawing. There is an important commonality between these innovations that guides my thought process: the pursuit of idealism through concise order or law, which structures behaviors of expression, culture, social hierarchy, media, and history.

This work seeks to be what Sir Thomas More always intended a utopia to be, and indeed what they always are, a critique of a current situation and a model for comparison. Combining historical utopias with the controlling perceptual legacy of linear perspective and the utopian art movement of Minimalism, I seek to contemporize Minimalism by adding multiple historical referents, which provide conflicting viewpoints of a single idealized situation. This combination sets up a tension with Minimalism’s characteristic self-referentiality. That tension allows Minimalism’s procedures of assessment, reduction, and simplification to become a system of interpretation to critique and compare the successes and failures of current, historical, and future utopias.