Kelsey Shwetz

© Courtesy of Kelsey Shwetz and cadet capela

Born in 1986 in Canada
Lives and works in New York, NY, US​

Kelsey Shwetz received her MFA from Columbia University in 2022 where she also taught Painting as an Assistant Adjunct Professor. She is a three-time recipient of the The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, along with grants from Canada Council for the Arts and the Mayer Foundation. She was awarded fellowships by the Vermont Studio Center, The Choy Family, Ellen Gelmen, Columbia University and CanSerrat Residency in Barcelona. She has exhibited in the United States, Canada, Slovakia, Stockholm and Mexico; her solo exhibitions include Half (Los Angeles), cadet capela (Paris) and Coulisse (Stockholm) in 2023.

 Shwetz’s practice is concerned with nature, climate, the weather, and mythology. Situated in the lineage of landscape painting, her canvases are spaces of modified or accelerated growth, uncanny perspective, and architectural folly. Recognizing that a wholly imaginary or fantastical landscape allows a cool distance between the image pictured and our feelings about the real world, Shwetz weaves passages of nature -including those human made- that are recognizable, reminding us of the tender parts of our world that we stand to lose by ecological indifference. Transformation figures heavily in her work, spaces made of disparate material and time blend into each other and geological forms create portals and shifts in the space of the canvas itself. Drawing from Cathedral Architecture, kitsch, sci-fi illustration and, recently, 17th c Netherlandish painting, Shwetz describes a mythology where geological forms, flora, and weather are protagonists. A human presence and cultivation is often indicated without explicitly picturing a body. She paints liminal or psychological threshold spaces, an atmosphere where action has just occurred or is about to unfold. There’s no sign of cataclysm but there is a throb of foreboding.

Curriculum vitae

Solo and two-person exhibitions
  • 2023
    Lamp is Not the Only Sign of Glass, Half Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US
  • Room for Detail, Coulisse, Stockholm, DK
  • Pale Slope of the Hour, cadet capela, Paris, FR
  • 2021
    A Lamp is Not the Only Sign of Glass, Casa Equis, Mexico City, MX
Group exhibitions
  • 2023
    What a Fool Believes, curated by Elzie Williams, Subtitled NYC, Brooklyn, NY, US
  • Oh, What a World, Jack Barrett, New York, NY, US
  • 2022
    On the Verge, curated by Jeanette Gunnarsson and Lauren Johnson, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, SE
  • Otherwise, Half Gallery, New York, NY, US
  • MFA Thesis Exhibition, Wallach Gallery, Dinner Gallery, US
  • Chambres d’Amis: Home Truths, Office Baroque, Anvers, BE
  • Fertile Plains ; Madeleine Bialke, Saskia Fleishman and Kelsey Shwetz, Dinner Gallery, New York, NY, US
  • 2021
    Columbia Summer Show, ChaShaMa, New York, NY, US
  • Class of 2022 First Year MFA Exhibition, Lenfest Center, New York, NY, US
  • Unique Expressions, Hollis Taggart Gallery, New York, NY, US
  • 2020
    Captura Temporal, Casa Lu, Mexico City, MX
  • 2019
    Slecny od Maliarskeho Stojana, Atelier XIII, Bratislava, SK
  • 2018
    Her Horizon, Gallery Also, Los Angeles, CA, US
  • Summer Heat, Ortega y Gasset, Brooklyn, NY, US
  • 2017
    Brave New Work, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, US
  • 2023
    West Bund Art & Design, cadet capela, Shanghai, CN
  • Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art, RiZhao, Shandong, CN
  • 2024
    Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation 3rd Grant, Montreal, CA
  • 2021
    Choy Family Fellowship, New York, NY, US
  • Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation 2nd Grant, Montreal, CA
  • Edward Mazzella Scholarship, New York, NY, US
  • Ellen Gelman Fellowship, New York, NY, US
  • Three Arts Club Scholarship
  • 2020
    Explore and Create: Research and Creation Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, CA
  • Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Montreal, CA
  • Mayer Foundation Grant
  • Teaching Assistant Fellowship, Columbia University
  • AiR, Casa Lu, Mexico City, MX
  • 2019
    Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Residency Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
  • AiR, Atelier Hontianske Trstany 158, SK
  • AiR Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center
  • 2022
    MFA, Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York, NY, US
  • 2018
    Advanced Painting Intensive, Columbia University, New York, NY, US