March 11, 2017
It is the case that Ted Larsen, an American artist who made his debut solo exhibition in Europe at the Private View Gallery of Turin, was born in 1964, the same year as the famous text from Donald Judd, Specific Objects. The new works exhibited here, created especially for the gallery spaces, presenting the artist's research, which springs precisely out of American minimalist art of those years. On display are a series of bas-reliefs, hybrids halfway between painting and sculpture, where Larsen comes away from the minimalist Dogma and retrieves a manual craft: each piece is in fact selected, cut and assembled according to the artist's own sensibility.
On display are a series of bas-reliefs, hybrids halfway between painting and sculpture, where Larsen comes away from the minimalist Dogma and retrieves a manual craft: each piece is in fact selected, cut and assembled according to the artist's own sensibility.
Reusing materials from old waste, such as sheet metal from cars and other materials, Larsen creates small paintings of composite geometries in which simple forms become complex agglutinations of polygons that expand and occupying space with their own visual projection and material footprint.
Arranged in the environment, the works create a measured path and rhythmically punctuated by projecting volumes from the walls; among them are chromatic references that guide the observer from one work to another. Color is important and Larsen devotes particular attention to it; using it, at times, to build a visual route, both inside the work and throughout the installation; others works recall the visual sensations of memory: the dull colors of old cars and Formica dinner tables of Americans who, with the marks of their use, carrying the ideas and universal references of the past.
Another element embodied by these works is the oxymoron tension created in the titles like Awfully Nice or Same Difference or True Fiction (all 2016); with these semantic juxtapositions, with no bearing on what the work is, Larsen gives uniqueness to each work and suggests an intuitive understanding and a sense beyond the brain and logic.
June 16, 2014 - Hiroyuki Hamada
I first became familiar with Ted Larsen’s work through art fairs. I am not a big fan of art fairs for many reasons which I won’t get into here but I have been to some of them. Ted’s works at the fairs were not big flashy pieces; they were modestly sized and rather quiet. But they all had very solid presences to stop me and to make me want to ask about the artist. And I had asked about Ted Larsen not once but probably at least three times at different fairs before I solidly registered his name in my head to make me go “oh that’s the artist I like” when I see the work. That might sound like I have no brain to memorize or his works are so unmemorable. Of course that is not my intention. The point I’m making is that it is close to impossible for me to come out remembering names or the works by particular people from going through numbers of art fairs which include thousands of art works in less than ideal viewing conditions. After a while, many works get categorized and generalized into certain types with generally unflattering connotations in my head. But good works by good artists do stand out repeatedly even if they are rather rare. Ted’s work was one of those. The work projects a recognizable atmosphere with its very efficient, smooth and potent visual narratives, most of them are very brief, economical and most of all very effective.
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January 11, 2013 - Anne Tschida
“Being a painter who no longer paints leaves me open to many different paths” is the way Ted Larsen describes his sculptural process. And indeed his lovely metal works have a painterly feel as much as they do three-dimensional objects. For his latest series of works that make up “Gimcrack” at Pan American Art Projects, he has crafted mostly pre-painted, salvaged-steel scraps into sculptures – a choice of material that could lend itself to a literally heavy output, but these look far more delicate.
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