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Artist Loren Madsen

Loren Madsen



American   —   My first solo exhibition, in Los Angeles in 1973, consisted of precariously balanced bricks rooted in gravity and friction. An earthquake destroyed the show just before it opened. Despite this divine critique I continued with these early sculptures which mutated into large site-specific installations of which the only record is photographs. Theater was not enough, I wanted narrative (like my then gallery mate and drinking pal Philip Guston). In 1991 I made a large installation titled “Missing Matter” that summarized what I knew and felt about issues cosmological. By 1994 I was using the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. and other sources to turn data into sculpture and prints. These are broadly historical if the viewer chooses to engage with the information, and abstract if the viewer does not. Since then I've made both data-based sculpture and—for sheer relief from facts and statistics—intuitively derived abstracts which hark to my earlier, psychological works: fragile balance teetering on collapse. I've wanted to keep it personal. A number of institutions over the years have found the productions worthy of exhibition and collection: LA County Museum of Art; MoMA, NY; Walker Art Center, Mpls; Guggenheim Museum, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Hakone Museum, Japan; Museum of New South Wales, Australia and others. After thirteen years in LA of college, grad school, and art-making we moved to NYC, lived and worked in Soho for almost thirty years. In 2005 we moved from NYC to Mendocino County, CA where I still quixotically transform understanding into art, now accompanied by grand views and wonderful wine. I try to maintain my wry sense of humor, even in these parlous times.

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Loren Madsen

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