Magazine article Sculpture

EPHRAIM, UTAH: Jared Steffensen

Magazine article Sculpture

EPHRAIM, UTAH: Jared Steffensen

Article excerpt

Central Utah Art Center

Jared Steffensen's solo exhibition, "Mom's always afraid I am going to hurt myself...I usually do," was at once blithe and sophisticated, sparking an unexpected (and even overlapping) dialogue between skateboarding and formalism. Using a once underground, now mainstream culture as his starting point, Steffensen consolidated tropes common to both skateboarding and artmaking- riffing on existing environmental elements and recognizing the potential of objects.

Referencing Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, action art, geometric abstraction, and early video art, Steffensen marries two seemingly disparate realms. The physical endeavor of skateboarding and the evidence it leaves behind are two of his specific springboards. His works seem to fall into one of two inverse forms: abstracted constructions made for skating and abstractions of marks made by the action of skating. The first re-scales recognizable forms such as ramps and rails and recontextualizes them as sculptures; the second draws on the environment and architecture as form, implying movement and action (as in ABD, which placed brightly colored marks along ledges and handrails in the building). These formal adaptations reflect some common ground. Seeking, assessing, and appropriating the body, landscape, objects made for other purposes, and public space are practices followed by skateboarders and artists alike. And when this fails, they construct their own objects to bend to their will.

Steffensen's previous work has dealt with regionalism, landscape, and an architectural approach to representative form-making. …

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