New York

Ted Stamm, 78SW-9, 1978, oil on canvas, 32 x 20".

Ted Stamm

Marianne Boesky Gallery

Ted Stamm, 78SW-9, 1978, oil on canvas, 32 x 20".

In the late 1970s and early ’80s, Arts Magazine, now gone, published my journal entries, which, I hope, showed that criticism was not solely the articulation of issues lurking out there in some theoretical ether but also an activity sharply inflected by the social situation in which it was met. Among those blog posts avant la lettre was one devoted to Ted Stamm’s then all but unknown paintings. In that entry, published in May 1979, I observed his “lean, mean” racer build—one that belied the congenital heart defect that led to his death from a heart attack just five years later, at the age of forty—and also proposed that his sleek, austere work seemed to augur a new style.

Excised from the studio context in which I first saw them, Stamm’s works have now sloughed off their initial stylishness and sit comfortably with our understanding of the day’s Minimalist/Conceptualist

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