Ted Stamm: Paintings at Minus Space
Ted Stamm, a painter who exhibited widely in New York and Europe before his untimely death at age 39 has been largely uknown in recent years. A small, but significant show of paintings and drawings at Minus Space in DUMBO offers a tantalizing re-introduction to Stamm’s paintings.
The exhibition features a signature work from each major phase of Stamm’s oeuvre including the "Dodger" and "Zephyr" series, a "Tag" drawing, and polaroids of Stamm’s abstract graffitti "Designators" - black forms from his paintings that he spray painted onto buildings in New York.
Two large paintings in the front room dominate the space. It's difficult not to be struck initially by the unique notching and dynamic curves of Stamm’s carefully constructed, shaped canvases. Spatially, Stamm was interested in aerodynamics and in conveying speed though painting. The graceful curves of the paintings’ edges (a curve dominates each large work) yield to the painted divisions within - creating a sense of extension into the surrounding architecture.
Although his palette in this show is limited to black and white, Stamm was a subtle colorist. In the smaller paintings his blacks are oily, yet bright and play off cooler, luminous, polished whites that are reminiscent of both Mondrian and new car paint. Stamm’s blacks in the larger works are matte and undeniably industrial with the grit and sparkle of asphalt playing atop the dazzling glue-sized canvas. The entire effect is celebratory and full of light.