Ted Larsen : Act Naturally


Ted Larsen : Act Naturally
May 17 – Jul 14, 2018

Ted Larsen
“Act Naturally”

For “Act Naturally,” New Mexico artist Ted Larsen returns for his fifth Robischon Gallery solo
exhibition with small-scale wall mounted sculptures constructed of precision-cut, repurposed steel,
layered over volumetric forms. With a sophisticated stance and strong tendency toward the ironic,
Larsen’s use of geometry, questions the conventions in art history such as Geometric Abstraction,
Minimalism, Op Art or Constructivism – and is located between the abstract and reductive. His
expressive wit, sense of color and use of atypical materials employed within his works, not only engage,
but remove the usual restrictions of how an artwork is seen and/or categorized. Unconventionally
minded, the artist considers his sculpture to be akin to painting – going so far in this exhibition as to
place rectangular structures around certain geometric forms as if to “frame” them, though the frame
and sculpture are one. As in past series, Larsen continues his metaphoric rejoinder to art history by using
industrial pre-painted surfaces with a history of use in relationship to accepted reverence and relevance
of High Art. Larsen states, “I think of my work as painting, although I don't paint the work in a
traditional fashion. For me, I find painting to be inward-looking, primarily concerning itself with itself
and it doesn't much relate to where it is placed in the environment. This new series directly addresses
some of the primary issues in painting including my perception of painting’s inward-looking nature, the
figure-ground relationship and how painting and sculpture are ultimately related. Paintings are indeed
objects themselves and I have developed a body of work which addresses the very "objectness" of a
painting. Since most of my work is shaped, my thinking also considers the area around the individual
sculptures and how they participate with the architecture of the site. My work is therefore as outward-
looking as it is inward-looking and functions in both ways. This exhibition furthers my concerns for the
curiosity of looking, art historical assumptions and how we perceive visual culture.”

Larsen continues, “While there is always a slow-moving storyline behind my work – which is to
say that while elements change in the work (sometimes quite radically) – it might not appear to be
radically different in any single piece. However, the motivation for making the sculpture remains
constant and consistent. For me, it is about perception and challenging our notions about seeing and
understanding visual language. In the Talmud, there is the famous attribution, "we don't see things as
they are; we see them as we are."

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
too numerous to list. Larsen’s “Lined Out” installation exhibition at Boulder Museum of Contemporary
Art was featured at the museum through January 2018.