Josee Bienvenu is pleased to present Aether, Ted Lawson’s first one person exhibition in New York. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, October 17 to Saturday, December 5, 2020. Aether is the quintessence that permeates all things. One of the primordial deities in Greek mythology, Aether embodies the air of the upper sky, the bluey space breathed by the gods. The works in the exhibition - all within the spectrum of the blue color wavelength - explore the idea of an invisible world right below the world that we live in, not so much an underworld, but rather an ‘other’ dimension that is constantly affecting and reshaping our own reality.
A mirror with robotic eyes that follows the viewer, a bronze Satyr with a flute, a towering Minotaur made of cast sticks, paintings of labyrinths in 3D and a head detailed down to the level of skin pores with microscopic hair - the works in the show are the remnants of something invisible yet deeply present. Highly detailed representations of reality, they are yet somehow very far away, as are the Greek mythologies transposed upon the artist's personal mythos.
In the current culture, the fantasy of the ‘other’ becomes all the more alive, even if sticks and rope are facsimiles of the real thing. Ideas about gender, race or sexuality are all up for revision in the name of morality, justice or righteousness. Collectively, we like to light things on fire and cheer together as they burn - a seductive form of mass hysteria like a stampede or riot. New monsters are continually chosen to be torn apart, cancelled and burned at the stake in the town square. The same stories are revisited over and over again from the question of who is a monster and who is a hero, down to the fundamental construction of gender roles and social hierarchy.
Born in Brookline, MA, in 1970, Ted Lawson lives in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Often using technology as a regressive analogy to describe aspects of human existence, his work is an ongoing investigation of the male psyche, questioning notions of institutional privilege and asymmetrical power dynamics.
Ted Lawson, Studio Quarantine: A virtual studio visit