_Stephen Lapthisophon is a multimedia artist and writer whose work addresses questions of language, history, and cultural memory. His work has been seen at Artists Space in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, in Chicago at Gallery 312, N.A.M.E., and Randolph Street galleries, as well as exhibitions in Berlin, at Zagreus Projekt, and in Barcelona at El Escaparate. Lapthisophon is also represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Dallas Museum of Art.


Lapthisophon received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979 and went on to study comparative literature and theory at Northwestern University. He has taught at Columbia College in Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently teaches art and art history at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington. Lapthisophon has also given several guest lectures at various institutions including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Art Institute of Chicago.


Lapthisophon lost his vision in 1994 due to an optic nerve disorder. After intense medical treatment and care, he returned to art making with renewed energy and commitment. In 1999, the Illinois Art Council awarded Lapthisophon with a project completion grant. He was a jury award recipient of the Art Council/Artadia Award for the year 2001. Lapthisophon also received a residency grant from the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in 2002, where he produced the sound piece Shady Aftermath. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Wynn Newhouse Foundation Award for artists with disabilities.


In March 2004, at the Chicago Loop in the Open Studio Program, Lapthisophon worked publicly on a temporary, site-specific wall painting as well as a 90-minute video work, The Failure of Modern Politics. In addition, the installation with sound, Amanuensis (I Hear a Symphony), was presented at the College of DuPage in Glen Elyn, Illinois, with a catalogue essay by Richard Brettell. An interview with the artist appeared on the Chicago Public Radio program “848” in March.


In January 2004, his sound piece Anonymity could be heard on State Street in Chicago as part of the public installation “Sound Canopy,” sponsored by the Hyde Park Art Center. As a resident artist at the Experimental Sound Studio in 2002, Lapthisophon produced the audio CD the bells, a soundtrack to his visual novel Hotel Terminus, published by WhiteWalls the previous year.


In 2005, Lapthisophon was a visiting artist in residence at South Side on Lamar in Dallas, Texas. During that stay, he participated in group exhibitions at The Casket Factory with the art collective Oh6 and in an exhibition of drawings at Brookhaven College. The solo exhibitions in Dallas at McKinney Avenue Contemporary and IR Gallery were followed by the exhibition “Strategy” at Conduit Gallery. Returning to Chicago, Lapthisophon became artist in residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where he produced the installation My Tradition My Heritage My Voice.


Recent solo exhibitions include “Photographs in situ and seasonal fruit” at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas, in 2010; “The Construction of a National Identity” at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, Illinois; and “Spelling Lesson” at Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas—both in 2011. Lapthisophon is represented at Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas.