Swallow Harder: Selections from the Ben and Aileen Krohn Collection

February 24 – May 14, 2006

Although the “R word” has little currency in the art world of our day, some of the most inventive and provocative contemporary artwork is indeed representational. Recognizable subject matter permeates the art of young artists working in video, photography, painting, performance, and sculpture, as well as those creating innovative art in spaces between these traditional mediums.

Some bold collectors are following their lead. Swallow Harder is a snapshot of the contemporary art collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn. Since its beginning in the late 1990s, this Seattle-based collection has grown to several hundred pieces, including series by important artists in photography and works by emerging artists in video.

The “one off” approach to collecting, in which a collector purchases one significant work by an artist and moves on to the next artist of interest, is a model not used by the Krohns. In contrast, the Krohns have consistently collected in depth the works of local, regional, or international artists who intrigue them.

Visceral and vital, the Krohns’ cutting-edge contemporary collection continues to evolve. Therefore, Swallow Harder, the first museum exhibition of this collection, makes no attempt to codify the Krohns’ collecting intentions or shut down meaning on their collection to date. This exhibition is instead organized in the spirit of hungry intelligence and restless inquiry that defines the Krohns’ collecting partnership.

Swallow Harder: Selections from Ben and Aileen Krohn Collection is curated by Chief Curator Robin Held.

Image Credits:
Victoria Haven. Twin Peaks (detail), 2004. Shelf paper on paper. 25 x 38 in. Collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn. Photo: Frank Huster
Chris Doyle. Peacock-Blue Sea, Asana Tabanobu, Away with Words, 2000. Reversal print. 31 x 47.5 in. Collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn.
assume vivid astro focus. Freebird (video still), 2002. Digital video. Collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn, courtesy of Peres Projects, Los Angeles and Berlin.
Nicola López. Twister, 2004. Collaged woodblock, silkscreen, and intaglio prints on paper and mylar. 60 x 40 in. Collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn.
Marcelino Gonçalves. Boys, 2005. Oil and graphite on paper on board. 33 x 48 in. Collection of Ben and Aileen Krohn.