Joseph Gross Gallery presents: The Map Is Not The Territory
Joseph Gross Gallery presents:
The Map Is Not The Territory
Ted Lawson (collaboration with Shelter Serra), Orbis Descriptio, 2014, CNC milled & dyed MDF, Wood, 55”x84”
A Solo Exhibition
Exhibition Dates: September 11-October 4, 2014 Opening Reception: September 11th | 6-9 PM
July 21, 2014 (New York, NY) – Joseph Gross Gallery is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition, The Map is Not the Territory, featuring various sculpture and new media works by Brooklyn based artist, Ted Lawson. Joseph Gross Gallery is a contemporary art space located in the Chelsea art district of New York founded by Joseph Gross of ArtNowNY and located in the former ArtNowNY space at 548 W 28th Street, 2nd Floor. There will be an opening reception to celebrate the artist as well as the gallery launch onSeptember 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
For the occasion of his first solo show at Joseph Gross Gallery, Lawson will début a new series of work consisting of three dimensional wall mounted pieces and freestanding sculptures milled from MDF (a wood fiber based material commonly used in commercial fabrication), brass plate etchings, and three large scale drawings rendered in the artist’s own blood fed intravenously to a CNC (computer numerical control) machine using computer technology akin to a 3D printer.
In the show’s title, The Map is Not the Territory, Lawson references a quote by the 20th century Polish philosopher and scientist, Alfred Korzybski, who pioneered the theory of general semantics that explained human experience as limited by biology and language. This concept serves as a unifying theme to the work in The Map is Not the Territory, which draws imagery from sources ranging from the Hubble telescope (Carina Nebula and Moon) and Renaissance cartography (Orbis Descriptio, produced in collaboration with Shelter Serra) to self-portraiture (Ghost in the Machine), in an overall exploration of the philosopher’s dictum that the abstract representation of something, and our reaction to it, is not the thing itself.
The nature of Lawson’s practice pushes the boundaries between realism and abstraction, producing works with the polish of high-end manufacturing, but with the allowance for chance operations through the machine’s algorithmic autonomy; telltale reminders of the ‘hand’ of the artist. Combining computer programming with fine art, industrial-scale production techniques akin to Koons’s or Murakami’s studio practices, Lawson writes the thousands of lines of code that direct the robotic arm of the CNC machine doing the drawing and carving of his works, resulting in symbiotic spectacles that might be interpreted as both commodities and concepts.
These man and machine ‘collaborations’ are most poignant in Lawson’s blood drawings. Documented in a short video capturing the artist literally spilling blood for his work, fed to the machine through an IV over hours at a time, the act ultimately challenges the preconception that an artist whose practice utilizes computers and coding is somehow more removed from his work than an artist using graphite or paint.
Employing the philosophy of Korzybski, Lawson is able to mount a nuanced exploration of human experience in the physical world, and the role art and technology play in our classification and understanding of it. Drawing examples from the earliest Western explorers’ attempts to map the global sphere with his 3D rendering of a 1511 world map, to physical reproductions of photographic images taken light-years away through modern-day space exploration, Lawson weaves together the narratives and symbols that create an abstraction of reality that we call human consciousness.
About the Artist
Ted Lawson, b. 1970 in Boston, Mass., received his BFA in Sculpture from Philadelphia University of the Arts in 1993, where he was awarded “Outstanding Student Achievement” at the International Sculpture Center. He has exhibited at the Scope and Wynwood art fairs, Miami, FL; Art Hamptons, New York; and in solo exhibitions as the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, New York, NY. Ted has been an invited guest speaker and critic at Parsons University and Cornell University. Works by Ted Lawson are held in international private collections in Europe, Russia and the US, and he has received several large-scale commissions, including the recent completion of a sculptural installation for digital entrepreneur Sean Parker. Lawson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
About Joseph Gross Gallery
Joseph Gross Gallery represents a stable of contemporary artists who exemplify the gallery’s commitment to pioneering genres and mediums. Located in the Chelsea art district of New York City, the gallery is the second New York space founded by Joseph Gross, a dealer working in both primary and secondary markets since 2005 who also founded ArtNowSF in San Francisco in 2005 and ArtNowNY in Chelsea in 2012. Joseph Gross is known for curating exhibitions that challenge convention and bring the most cutting edge images and ideas by today’s most exciting contemporary artists to the fore.