Ted Larsen at PanAmerican Art Projects

Charles Dee Mitchell
11/02/2008

Ted Larsen's sculptures appear to have drifted into PanAmerican Art Projects. Some have landed on the floor, others hang in midair. When they have made their way onto the walls, they could be at eye level, near the floor or just below the ceiling.  Mr. Larsen scours salvage yards near his home in Santa Fe, N.M., for sheet metal from wrecked cars. He searches out cars old enough to have been painted with lead-based paints, and so the blues, oranges, beiges, yellows and reds in his work are chalky and subdued rather than metallic and shiny.

 

He flattens and cuts the metal into strips and triangles that he joins together with annealed wire to form what he refers to as "belts." Folding these belts back onto themselves produces the three dimensional shapes of the finished works. The triangular shapes have an aerodynamic quality suited to their often airborne presentation, whereas the blockier ones become either simple or

very elaborate geometric abstractions. In some pieces Mr. Larsen takes long strips of metal and crumples them into rough approximations of organic forms.

 

Attending this exhibition, "Hamster Wheel or Cold Comfort," is a bit like spending time in a salvage yard where your eye is constantly drawn to evocative shapes, surprising juxtapositions and engaging images.