Ted Larsen

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

My work is not attempting to represent an outside reality. I want the viewer to respond only to what is in front of them. Paring down to simple forms is often thought to give a less rich experience for the viewer. Quite the opposite is true, however. I believe these simple elements create the possibility for a more direct and pure relationship between the viewer and the work. I am attempting to be entirely free of any basis in directly observed reality with no symbolic implications. As Teo van Doesburg wrote in 1930, “Nothing is more concrete or real than a line, a color, or a plane of color.”

An artist’s work usually adheres to the construct of a cohesive direction with the work illustrating a single theme or underscoring a didactic agenda. But such a logical order has no specific place in my studio practice. The work alternates between the pristine and the defaced, the minimal and the expressionistic. Using a range of techniques that includes tree saps mixed with wax on wooden structures, compressed steel objects, and fabricated constructions, I am exploring the formal qualities of containment and repression. And yet I want the work to be ironic. This is a tribute to anti-triumphalism, the spontaneous, non-hierarchical, non-monumental thematic artistic landscape that offers no specific resolution and no isolation of meaning.

I quest for new materials, “non-art materials” to create my work. I am constructing assemblages of detritus in order to repurpose the materials and re-identify their meanings: to re-contextualize and re-label the idea of readymades. It is my ongoing experimentation with contexts, hybrids, and scale.

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