PRESS RELEASE - Ted Larsen: Brand New, Slightly Used

Eight Modern
07/30/2010

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO — Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Ted Larsen: Brand New, Slightly Used. This will be Larsen’s second solo show with the gallery.

A long-time Santa Fe resident and recent Pollock-Krasner grant recipient, Ted Larsen creates abstract constructed objects from salvage materials. In Brand New, Slightly Used, Larsen not only explores the detritus of consumer culture, but also critically examines cherished modernist principles and hierarchies.

Larsen finds and repurposes old pieces of scrap metal and other “non-art materials.” The humble materials and intimate scale of his sculpture reflect the artist’s stated desire to pay “tribute to anti-triumphalism, the spontaneous, non-hierarchical, [and] un-monumental.”

Elisabeth Sussman, curator at the Whitney Museum of Art, has written:

“The ‘human element’ of [Larsen’s work] is surely that it is identifiable or referential to something common to experience, a quality that is emphasized by their piece-by-piece construction. Immersion in Ted Larsen’s recent work yields a landscape of…intimate, constructed objects that uncannily recall — in their shapes, but also significantly in their color — something once seen and experienced in the world. Deep in our visual memories are the sense impressions made by the scratched Formica counters in old diners, for instance, or the rusting metal sign on some roadside building glimpsed from a moving car. Larsen never settles on a specific reference to such things, but his sculpture allows us to make our own connections.”

Larsen, who will direct the installation of his work at Eight Modern, also aims to challenge basic accepted artistic mores through the presentation of his art within the gallery.

“What happens when you go into an art space?” Larsen asks. “Well, there’s an arbitrary expectation and hopefully the way I deploy my work will question some of that.”

Larsen’s intercession in the gallerygoer’s experience extends to the creation of several stools which will serve not only as part of the exhibition but also as potential resting spots and viewing points for visitors to Eight Modern.

He takes his engineering process to new levels of exactitude with Hobnob, a three-dimensional realization of a Euclidean geometric principle — a series of isosceles triangles forming a belt-like, helical structure, which Larsen has articulated so it can move.

“It’s kind of a complex thing, and yet it’s still made of discarded sheet metal with wire holding it together,” he says. “There’s a very jewelry-like quality to it on a certain level, yet it’s total trash on another level.”

The body of work in Brand New, Slightly Used was created over the past three years, during which Larsen received the Edward Albee Foundation Residency Fellowship and participated in nine solo and group exhibitions throughout the country, including his 2008 catalogue show at Eight Modern, Ted Larsen: Built. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Edward Albee Foundation and the New Mexico Museum of Art, as well as major corporations such as NBC, PepsiCo, Forbes, Honda, JPMorgan Chase and United Airlines. Larsen is a graduate of Northern Arizona University.