photo: Elizabeth Lavin
Stephen Lapthisophon (b. 1956) is an American artist, writer, and educator working in the field of conceptual art, critical theory, and disability studies. Lapthisophon received his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. His studies continued at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the Department of Comparative Literature and Theory from 1986-1989. His early work combined poetry, performance, sound art, and visual arts with postmodern philosophical concerns. Influences include Arte Povera, Robert Smithson and the legacy of the Situationists, who sought to make everyday life a focus of artistic activity.

In 1994 he suffered a major deterioration of his vision due to an neurological malady, and became legally blind after intensive medical treatment. His subsequent work as an installation artist and art theorist has been marked by this experience.

In his most recent work, Lapthisophon incorporates everyday objects as a means of breaking down the barriers between his art and daily life. His use of found objects such as string, cloth, leaves, or egg shells, as well as food materials including coffee, cinnamon, or saffron, challenges our ideas of permanence and process as they relate to art making. In doing so, he exalts the everyday and attempts to slow time in order to look longer and unpack hard-to-find meanings and forgotten histories.

He has exhibited extensively across the United States as well as internationally in exhibitions in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Selected museum exhibitions include the Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Museo de la Ciudad Queretaro, Mexico.

He lives and works in Dallas, Texas where he is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington.

He is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas.



© 2024 Stephen Lapthisophon


Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas
On view February 18 - March 25, 2023
Opening reception: February 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The work of Stephen Lapthisophon is process-driven. The work evolves from layers of unconventional materials and textures: materials that include old, saved newspapers, t-shirts, coffee and coffee grounds, wood varnish, charcoal, spray paint, oil stick, chocolate and pigmented bacon fat, along with house paint. An undeniable physicality of surface, which is built from layers of everyday “stuff” is derived from improvisation and performance, where response to what is already laid down creates additional friction with new layers which are added.

Specters are the ghosts we carry around. Feelings of the past, and old, faded memories haunt the pictures. There are direct visual references to Duchamp (a commemorative painting, 1923 – 2023) and to Malevich. Otherwise, the paintings ask the viewer to relish the materiality of paint and texture which mingle and saturate the canvas, giving rise to sensate pleasures and discoveries.

More information