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Worry Beads

Loren Madsen

Opening Reception with the Artist:

October 29th, 2020 from 6 - 7pm 

RSVP on our home page to get the invite!

Loren Madsen: Opening Hours

Data Art

In the early 1990s in NYC, I was struck by how my students' experience as young artists differed so radically from my own. They paid unthinkable rents and equally unthinkable tuition. They could not, as I did thirty years previously, work sporadically to finance full time in the studio

I graphed historical trends in housing, food and fuel costs then and now, and, realizing the numbers could—like numerical dimensions—be turned into a sculpture I made CPI, an example of the process of data art I've followed since. Other personal interests led to research, analysis and artworks: the historical relationship of defense versus social spending; marriage and birth rates; the murder rate in contrast to incarceration rate (one of every 150 Americans is in jail).

What you see here are some of my inquiries exposing themselves as art. Along with purely expressive, non-referential sculpture, I still pursue clarification through 3D "charts."

I hope that, even if you are not engaged by the data, you might still enjoy the formal aspects of the pieces.

Loren Madsen: Text

Meet The Artist

Loren Madsen (1943-) was born in Oakland, CA and graduated high school in Seattle, WA. He attended Reed College in Portland, OR and graduated from UCLA with an MA in 1970 where he majored in art and art history. In 1977 Madsen moved from the west coast to NYC, where he would live for 30 years, to pursue a very successful career in the arts. In 2005, he and his family moved back to northern California to a parcel of land that he had purchased in the 1970s. He still lives there with his wife in a home that he built.
His first solo exhibition in 1973 consisted of sculptures made of bricks and wood suspended, propped, or balanced in studies of courtervailing forces. An earthquake destroyed the show before it opened. Despite this divine intervention, Madsen continued to create these early sculptures, which mutated into large site-specific installations that currently exist only in photographs.
By the early 1990s, however, he found that theater was not enough and he wanted his work to embody a more explicit narrative. This led to the creation of a large installation titled “Missing
Matter” that summarized what he knew and felt about issues cosmological. By 1994 Madsen was using the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. and other sources to turn data into sculpture and prints. As the artist says, “These sculptures are broadly historical if the viewer chooses to engage with the information and abstract if the viewer does not. The subjects of my interest are purely personal (and, OK, political)”.
The current exhibition here at the “Virtual” Haldan Art Gallery at Lake Tahoe Community College, titled “Worry Beads”, is based on one large, site-specific, sculpture that is made of wood-carved “beads” and strung together like a beaded chain. Each bead, one for every year since 1945, is scaled at one cubic centimeter per human life. The volume of each is set by the number of terrorist-caused deaths for that year globally. The whole is about 40’ long and the largest bead (representing the year 2014) is 19 inches in diameter. The sculpture ends with 2017. This piece along with other sculptures comprise this solo exhibition by Loren Madsen.

Loren Madsen: Our Artists

Interview from VIS'18, Toward a Design Language for Data Physicalization

Loren Madsen: Video

Biographical Data and Resume

Born: Oakland, CA, 1943        
Reed College, Portland, OR, 1961-63
B.A., U.C.L.A., 1966
M.A., U.C.L.A., 1970
Resides: Northern California

One Person Shows (* indicates catalogue)

2019    Worry Beads, Willits Center for the Arts, Willits, Ca

2014    An Artist Collects, Mendocino College, Ukiah, Ca

2009    Wheel of Fortune *, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PA         

             (with Ryan Alexiev and Hank Willis Thomas)

2005    Six Billion Monkeys, Lafayette College, Easton, PA         

             god&demons, McKee Gallery, New York, NY

2000    Crime And Punishment, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

1999    Six Billion Monkeys *, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY         

             American Playhouse, Drury College, Springfield, MO

1998    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.         

            Art First, London, England

1996    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1992    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1991    Cheryl Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA         

            University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

1990    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1986    David McKee Gallery *, New York, N.Y.

1984    Miami Dade Community College, Miami, FL         

            David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1982    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1981    University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

1980    Wright State University, Dayton, OH         

            Hansen-Fuller-Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1978    L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles, CA         

            Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, and Grant Park, Chicago. IL

1977    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.

1976    David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.         

            Site, San Francisco, CA         

            L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1975    Projects: Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y.

1974    Riko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1973    Riko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Group Shows  (* indicates catalogue)

2018    Cloverdale Sculpture Trail, Cloverdale, CA

2017    Hold These Truths*, NLE, New York, NY

2016    Structural Integrity, Eugene Binder Gallery, Marfa, TX

2015    Drawing in L.A.: The 1960s and 1970s, L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
            Sculpture Trail, Cloverdale - Geyserville, Geyserville, CA

2014    Once Upon a Time, There Was the End, Center for Book Arts, NY, NY

2012    CANY, Nora Fisch Contemporary Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina
            Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX

2011    SiTE:LAB* / ArtPrize , Grand Rapids, MI         

             Momentum, Napa, CA         

             Library Science, New Haven, CT

2004    Voice of Site*, Tokyo, Japan

2003    Letterform, Text and Image, Reed College, Portland, OR

2002    9/11 Memorial Exhibition*, VA Museum, New York

2001    All Systems Go, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston         

            Contemporary Collectors XVI, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

2000   Precious Metals*, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO (traveled)         

             New, McKee Gallery, New York, NY

1999    Actual Size*, Apex Art C.P., New York, NY

1999    Best of the Season *, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CN    

1998    Masters of the Masters*, Butler Inst. of American Art, Youngstown, OH

1997     World Views, Deutsche Bank, New York, NY         

              Wall Pieces, McKee Gallery, New York, NY

1997    79-97, VA Gallery, New York, NY

1995    2nd Fujisankei Biennale Competition*, Hakone Museum, Japan

1994    Newport Harbor Art Museum, Highlights of Permanent Collection

1993    Nature for Art's Sake, LaSalle Partners, Charlotte, NC

1992    Technorama*, Barbara Toll Gallery, New York, NY (11,769 drawings produced)

1991    Loren Madsen/James Adley, Albion College, Albion, MI         

            McKee Gallery, New York, NY

1990    McKee Gallery, New York, NY

1990    New Sculpture, Eve Mannes Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1989    David McKee Gallery, New York, NY         

            Selected Recent Acquisitions, Mt. Holyoke College Art Mus., S. Hadley, MA

1988    David McKee Gallery, New York, NY

1987    Computer Assisted *, Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA

1986    Courtesy David McKee, Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1986    A Southern California Collection, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1985    10*, University Gallery, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

1984    American Sculpture, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA         

            Preparation and Proposition, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, N.Y.

1983    New Talent Award Winners/20 Years*,

            L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1982    Shift L.A./N.Y.*, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA

1980    New Drawings, David McKee Gallery, New York, N.Y.         

            Maquettes and Small Works, Diane Brown Gallery, Washington, D.C.         

            Sculpture in California,

1975-80*, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA         

            Stacking, Rigging, Binding: 10 Contemporary Sculptors*, Washington Project for the Arts,         

            Washington, D.C.

1979    Directions*, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.         

            Annual Award Competition Show, American Academy and Inst. of Arts and Letters,                 

            New York, N.Y.            

            Aspects of Abstract, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

1978    Constructs, Organization of Independent Artists, NY

1977    L.A. in the Seventies*, Fort Worth Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX         

            Private Images-Photos by Sculptors, L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1976    Sculpture Made in Place*, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN         

            New Selections/New Talent Award Winners, L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA         

            The Biennale of Sculpture*, Sydney, Australia         

            Drawing, photo, video studies, LA Louver, Venice, CA         

            Sequence, Site, San Francisco, CA

1975    The Condition of Sculpture*, Hayward Gallery, London, England         

            Drawings, Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1974    L.A. 6/Summer '74, L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA         

            Ca 90291, Baxter Art Gallery, Cal. Inst. Of Technology, Pasadena, CA         

            Constructions, Long Beach CC, Long Beach, CA         

            Eight West side Artists, Cal State San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA

1973    Sculptural Invitational, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA

Museum Collections

Anderson Collection at Stanford, CA

Akron Art Institute, Akron, OH

Georges Pompidou Center, Paris, France

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, N.Y.

Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Karl Stirner Arts Trail, Easton, PA

L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Mt. Holyoke College, S. Hadley, MA

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y.

Orange Co. Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA

San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, San Angelo, TX

Vancouver Museum of Art, Vancouver, Canada

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN


New Talent Purchase Award, The Modern and Contemporary Art Council of the L.A. County Museum of Art, 1975

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant, 1975-76

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant, 1980-81

Honorable Mention, Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Competition, 1981

Pollock-Krasner Grant, 2004

Major Permanent Sculpture Installations

2015    Capital One Tech Ctr, San Francisco, Ca
            Karl Stirner Arts Trail, Easton, Pa

2014    District 5 Police Station, Chicago, IL

1997    JR Kinshicyo Station, Sumida Ward, Tokyo, Japan

1991    LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City, NY

1990     Pacific Enterprises, Los Angeles, CA

1986    Schering Pharmaceutical Research Facility, Kenilworth, N.J.

1985    Quorum, Dallas, TX         

            Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA         

            Chevy Chase Metro Building, Chevy Chase, MD    

1984    Brookhollow Atrium, San Antonio, TX         

            RepublicBank San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

1983    Nursing Home, V.A. Hospital, Hines (Chicago), IL

1981    SSA Metro West, Baltimore, MD (GSA)       

            Area 2 Police Center, Chicago, IL         

            1st Bank Atrium, Pillsbury Center, Minneapolis, MN 1980    

            Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA

1979    Michael's Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA         

            Prudential Insurance Company, Woodland, Hills, CA         

            (new sculpture for destroyed original)

1977    L.A. County Museum of Art Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles, CA         

            Prudential Insurance Company, Woodland Hills, CA         

            Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, CA

1974    Prudential Insurance Company, Florham Park, N.J.

Loren Madsen: Text
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