PENTIMENTI GALLERY, Philadelphia
I consider myself a painter. While my work is often dimensional and sometimes even free-standing, the manner I approach the work is firmly based in my education as a painter.
The work is constructed with a variety of materials and approaches. Central to my practice is the use of pre-painted materials. The source of these materials is not relevant to me. In almost all cases the materials come from salvaged automobile products, namely hoods and tops from 1980's and earlier pickup trucks or larger commercial vehicles. I use these pre-painted surfaces to create a metaphor to history, as well as a conceptual form of painting by appropriation, and modernist art history particularly. I am creating commentary on that history and its relevance and importance in today's world. I hold Modernity and the material culture it produced in very high regard. I am less certain of today's world.
I am considering the 'objectness' of painting. No matter how concrete it may be visually or how much spatial illusion it might allude to, paintings are things, objects. They have fronts, sides, and backsides. They are generally placed against a wall and are often used as a place and space of contemplation, a place for the mind's eye to rest. I am interested in how all of this functions. I poke into each of these formal elements individually: the frontally oriented nature of painting and its relationship to the wall; how the sides function to the painted plane; how the back is a structure to support the surface. Compositionally I am using simple geometric progression to examine each of these formal elements.
— Ted Larsen, 2019