Stephen Lapthisophon



In his most recent work, Stephen Lapthisophon experiments working on canvas with the same momentum and loose approach he has previously brought to his works on paper. The mixed media paintings combine text and letterforms to create poetic improvisations inspired by and referring to deeply buried literary sources. Through the use of unconventional materials such as pigmented animal fats, spices, dirt and coffee grounds, Lapthisphon exalts the everyday and attempts to slow time in order to look longer and unpack hard to find meanings and forgotten histories.

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

Conduit Gallery Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2022 Texas Collects: Carter/Wynne Collection, Site 131, Dallas, TX
  • 2019 Modern Billings, billboard project presented by the Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth

  • 2019 Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
  • 2018 TEXAS, Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2017 Charlie Don't Surf, Museo de la Cuidad de Querétaro, Mexico
  • 2016 Sector 2337, Chicago, IL
  • 2016 David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX
  • 2015 Toccare (Non) Toccare, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX
  • 2014 Dallas Biennial, the Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas, TX
  • 2014 Longhouse Projects, New York, NY
  • 2014 Sound Art/ Video Festival, Rostrum, Malmo, Sweden
  • 2014 La Box, Ecole Nationale Superieure D’Art. Bourges, France
  • 2013 Bescher Trienniaal, Berlin Glass, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013 Concentrations 56, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
  • 2013 Actual Size LA, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2013 Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA
  • 2013 Elephant, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012 A Slender Gamut, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2011 Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
  • 2010 SHOW Studio, London, UK
  • 2010 Eastfield College, Mesquite, TX
  • 2009 El Escaparate, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2009 Unit B Gallery, San Antonio, TX
  • 2008 ZAGREUS PROJEKT, Berlin
  • 2007 Corbitt vs. Dempsey, Chicago, IL
  • 2007 Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 Kunstverein INGAN, Berlin
  • 2006 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 Barrow & Juarez Gallery, Milwaukee WI
  • 2005 Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL (sound installation)
  • Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
  • Artist's Space, New York, NY
  • A St. Gallery, Boston, MA
  • Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
  • TBA Exhibition Place, Chicago, IL