Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gallery Artist Laura Letinsky review in this month's issue of Flash Art


Laura Letinsky
Donald Young - Chicago

"Laura Letinsky’s suite of large-format photographs present a sequence of refined visual fields organized by the centripetal force of the resonant detail. The work seems at first glance almost wholly formal experiments: arrangements of light, shade and texture configured by repetitive deployment. As meditations on visual form tending toward the chromatic, they frame the occasional interruptive fleck of intense, almost otherworldly hues: purple-tinted reds, an obscene dash of orange, congealed browns, creams, yellows and a single plane of blue and peach. Yet the quiet surface of these exceptionally taut picture-planes reverberates with an internally directed intensity; in this, opening up for view a dimension of image-making not usually allowed to the surface of contemporary representational practices — the plasticity and dustless grime of the photographic studio.

A constrained white space excavated of things and suspended in a calibrated luminosity is the consistent intrusion across the show, which brings together a body of work covering several years. Every image is littered with the detritus of photographic making — tape, mesh, tissue — to introduce an unambiguous theme. Beyond this, Letinsky’s subjects break down into a Gertrude Stein–like catalogue of “Objects,” “Food” and “Rooms,” redolent with the sexiness of the part-object. Untitled #8 is a particularly beautiful example from the “Fall series” (2009), a scraped-out cup of chocolate in a plastic cup warmed by a limpid shaft of autumn sunlight. In Untitled #9, of the same series, a paper bag and scatter of crumbs shell the residues of a meal. These small, consumable bits and pieces domesticate the constructedness of the set by offering a semiotics of domesticity, rather than the thing itself. Scale is also an important component in the meta-translucent effect of physically large images shot in a tight depth of field, allowing for the projection of an intimacy that is not quite the thing itself but a leftover excess. Untitled #16 (“Somewhere, Somewhere series,” 2006) literalizes such doubling in an architectural image: two empty office spaces photographed from without, mirroring each other in identical sterility.

Letinsky’s photographs are saturated by a tension that works in concert across thematic lines to draw the viewer into an imaginary space charged with an intense literal presence. "

- Michelle Menzies, Flash Art Magazine - January February 2011, pg. 97

For more information on this issue: www.flashartonline.com/interno.php?pagina=rivista_det&id_riv_let=75&title=JANUARY-FEBRUAY-2011

Laura Letinsky's Artist Page: www.bulgergallery.com/dynamic/fr_artist.asp?ArtistID=70

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