Lisson Gallery presents the first exhibition of Ted Stamm's work at Lisson Gallery New York, featuring paintings, works on paper, archival material and photographs from the artist's Wooster series.
Ted Stamm was born and raised in Brooklyn and Long Island, and rarely strayed from the New York metropolitan area. After beginning his career painting colourful lyrical abstraction in his post-graduate days in the late 1960s, Stamm quickly set out to explore painting beyond tradition and to introduce further layers of complex colour, form and line. While many other painters of the period like Alan Charlton, Robert Ryman and Brice Marden were also experimenting in monochrome, following the success of late Modernist post-war artists such as Yves Klein, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg, among others, Stamm quickly furthered his experimentation of the use of a minimal palette by introducing composition, through the precision of the line and the shaped canvas.
Stamm lived and worked on the top floor of 101 Wooster Street in the downtown Manhattan neighbourhood of SoHo from 1972 to his untimely death in 1984. In 1974, Stamm encountered an irregular shape on his street — a rectangle joined on the left by a slightly shorter triangle. Using this form as the inspiration, he began what he titled the Wooster series. These geometric forms with hard edges furthered the artist's earlier experimentations of formalist elements of the line and literal as well as depicted shapes. The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will include a selection of paintings from this series, including a large-scale Low Wooster (a variation of the aforementioned shape, hung close to the ground) as well as works on paper, archival material and photographs. A diligent archivist and record keeper, Stamm kept exhaustive documentation related to the making of his paintings, a selection of which will be installed in a vitrine in the gallery space.
While painting and drawing was always his primary focus, Stamm regularly extended his practice into the streets where he made proto-graffiti interventions in the urban environments of New York. Known as Designators, these works were executed in locations around the city and on varying objects. Stamm placed Wooster Designators primarily on the bumpers and license plates of cars, so that the vehicles would travel beyond the neighbourhood or city, bearing Stamm's Wooster shape, to be seen by numerous more people. Photographs of these projects, documented in 1980, will be included in the exhibition.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Lisson Gallery will publish the first major monograph on Stamm, a comprehensive survey of the entire Wooster series, including an essay by art historian Alex Bacon and an illustrated chronology of the artist's career.
About the artist
Coming of age in the mid-1960s, Ted Stamm (1944–1984) was an integral part of the artists enclave of SoHo in downtown Manhattan. Upon graduation from Hofstra University in 1968, Stamm returned to his hometown of New York to continue his investigation of painting and printmaking. Often working in different, overlapping series, black was a consistent component of Stamm's work, as it was a colour associated with rebellion, rigor and reduction. Stamm created a rich oeuvre in his short lifetime which became influential for artists coming of age in New York over the past thirty years.
Ted Stamm exhibited internationally during his lifetime, including in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at venues such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Museum, NY, USA; MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, USA; The Clocktower, New York, NY, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, USA; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA; Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, OK, USA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art , CA, USA; Grand Rapids Art Museum, MI, USA; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, AL, USA; Denver Art Museum, CO, USA; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, USA; Akademie Der Kunste, Berlin, Germany; and Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark. In 1977, Stamm was included by curator Manfred Schneckenburger in Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany. His work was exhibited alongside artists, such as Carl Andre, Daniel Buren, James Lee Byars, Walter De Maria, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Imi Knoebel, Sol Lewitt, Gordon Matta- Clark, Robert Morris, Blinky Palermo, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback and Richard Serra, among others. In addition, Stamm exhibited his work at the legendary Downtown artist-founded venues 112 Greene Street, 1975, Artists Space, 1975, 1980, and Franklin Furnace, 1977, 1980. Stamm received awards in Painting from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1983, and the National Endowments for the Arts, NEA, 1981–1982. Stamm's work is included in the collections of Brooklyn Museum, NY, USA; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Art Museum, AZ, USA; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA; and Western Australia Art Gallery, Perth, Australia.
Press release courtesy Lisson Gallery.