Art’s Lapthisophon Shines in DMA Exhibit

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The Dallas Museum of Art has a strong reputation for finding emerging artists to display in its long-running installation, Concentrations. This year, the DMA has set its sights on Visiting Assistant Professor Stephen Lapthisophon (Art & Art History).

Lapthisophon’s exhibition – included in the 56th installment of Concentrations — is composed of a number of pieces under the title “coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and ‘Selected Poems.’” In his rare solo show, audiences can expect to see a host of “mysterious metaphors” in the form of unorthodox materials, he said.

Lapthisophon said his use of unusual materials is a means to re-evaluate common concepts of appropriateness.

“I play on very casual, accidental mark-making,” he said. “The use of the everyday that’s involved with things as simple as coffee and seasonality play with the notions of appropriateness.”

Steering away from standard canvas, Lapthisophon utilizes coffee, dirt, eggshells and old scraps of paper to smear on his art and taped to the wall.

“I try to take things that are unexpected, out of context, and put them in a drawing or something else,” he said. “I play on that kind of back and forth of everyday materials that are unexpected, and then things which are unusual in an art context.”

As a teacher and an artist, Lapthisophon is conscientious of the social impact of art and the importance of being aware of the world around you.

“I want my students to be cognizant of the meaning structure that exists around them,” he said. “It’s important to be aware of how they’re communicating.”

As a visually impaired artist – he is legally blind — Lapthisophon is sympathetic to issues of disability. Next fall, he will teach a course for UT Arlington’s newly established disability studies minor.

Lapthisophon said he will also stay busy in 2014 with shows in Chicago, France and Los Angeles.

“Coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and ‘Selected Poems’” is available in DMA’s Hoffman Galleries until March 30, 2014. Admission is free.

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(By Charlotte Whiteley, COLA Communications Intern)

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