Ted Larsen : Insider Influence, The Space Program And Other Specified Domains
Jul 20 – Sep 16, 2017
Robischon Gallery is pleased to present “Insider Influence, the Space Program and Other Specified Domains,” Ted Larsen’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. With his typically inventive approach and impeccably precise handling of atypical art materials, such as scrap metal from junked cars and boats, Larsen’s engagement of form addresses space with committed ingenuity in both large and especially small-scale works in this exhibition. Each element from the meticulously sheared metals, annealed wire and exposed plywood support structures, play in concert with Larsen’s humorous titles. Similar to the assembled nature of his materials, a linguistic amalgamation of words take shape as the titles in antonymous pairings like Plastic Glass, Daily Special, Linear Curve or the more somber War Games, circle back to Larsen’s thought-provoking exhibition title. The sun-faded, scratched and abraded surfaces of Larsen’s chosen materials along with the artist’s hand, take the form of delicate linear mark-marking. The range of unexpected sculptural shapes assembled with multiple layers of cut steel, are chromatically compelling as they invite examination of Larsen’s uniquely stratified and varied vocabularies. Animated shadows further enliven the dynamic viewing experience from the largest lattice sculpture to the most intimate-sized, densely layered work in the series.
Intellectually, there is full engagement as well, as the artist questions through form and manner, the accepted tenets of such art movements as Geometric Abstraction, Minimalism, Op Art or Constructivism. While Larsen’s work is located between the abstract and reductive, the artist clearly elucidates the complex relationship surrounding the function of art by saying, “We live a world of influence, where place matters and where everything is highly programmed. We live in a world where standards are not relevant; where what matters is celebrity status. We live a world where science doesn’t matter. Where science is fiction, fiction is truth and truth exists only as long as it is convenient. We live in a world of questionable relevance where what doesn’t matter does and what does matter doesn’t. Lucky for us, art doesn’t pay attention to these rules or conditions. It operates outside of limits, standards and territories. It doesn’t care about what we care about. It serves, but is only of service when it is convenient for itself. Art does this because it transcends the moment, the people, the culture, the hierarchy. Art is a lens, a condenser, a spreader, a pry bar. It opens. It shines. It illuminates. It doesn’t need us. We need it. And that is the rub. We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are. Art shows us who we are.” At once insightful and disarming, the unexpected visual vocabulary of Ted Larsen’s work encourages studious contemplation while allowing for joy to unfold.
Ted Larsen graduated magna cum laude from Northern Arizona University. A recipient of the prestigious Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant Award, the Artist Stipend Award, Wichita Falls Art Council, Texas, Surdna Foundation Education Travel Grant, New York, United States Representative to the Asilah Arts Festival, Morroco Representative and the Edward Albee Foundation Residency Fellowship. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM, Amarillo Museum of Art, TX, along with exhibitions at art centers and gallery venues across the US. Larsen’s work is in the collections of the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, Proctor & Gamble, Fidelity Investments, National Broadcasting Company, The Bolivian Consulate, Reader’s Digest, PepsiCo, The University of Miami, Krasel Art Center, Dreyfus Funds, JP Morgan Chase, Forbes and Pioneer Hi-Bred, Inc. among many others. Larsen’s work will be in an exhibition at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art later in 2017.