Yancey Richardson is pleased to announce Yours, more pretty, an exhibition of new photographs by Laura Letinsky, presented in conjunction with the release of the artist’s fourth monograph, Ill Form & Void Full (Radius Books). The exhibition includes the most recent works from Letinsky’s on-going series, Ill Form & Void Full, which reflects on temporality and desire in the still-life genre, the self-referentiality of the photographic medium and the mutability of perception. Letinsky’s compositions utilize fragments from her own photographs and those of other artists like Richter or Matisse, as well as advertisements culled from magazines, dissolving the hierarchy between high and low imagery, and the notion of what is real and what is mediated. In addition, by using white as a color, the edges of paper as lines, and shadows as planes, Letinsky’s compositions conflate flatness and dimensionality, upending the viewer’s sense of space and perspective.
The arrangements in Yours, more pretty employ two-dimensional elements as sculptural objects, to dizzying effect. Collaged cutouts of food, feathers, tableware or abstracted swaths of color are pinned, taped or glued onto reproductions of table surfaces or white paper, all of which are placed on the studio wall and actual tabletops, creating a multiplicity of facades that collapse perspective and float in an indecipherable space of light and shadow. As Letinsky describes, “Not only objects, but our relation to others, to our selves, is constantly shifting…I do strive to clear away all that is not necessary, to make the picture space a kind of precipice, anticipation always active.”
Rooted in the Dutch-Flemish vanitas tradition, Letinsky’s arrangements address the notion of time and the relationship between ripeness and decay; however, they do so by questioning notions of photographic authenticity, and the medium’s capacity to illustrate temporality vis-à-vis form, material, and narrative. As Letinsky states, “My photographs are very much about this medium, its self referentiality…I want an acute tension between what is in the picture – the image, what is name-able – and its status as an object.”
Born in Canada in 1962, Laura Letinsky received her MFA from Yale University in 1991, and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. The first half of the series Ill Form & Void Full was presented as a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2012. A travelling mid-career retrospective opened at the Denver Art Museum in 2012. Letinsky’s work is held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Amon Carter Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and the Stuttgart Museum, Germany, among others. Her work has been the subject of three previous monographs: Venus Inferred (University of Chicago Press), Hardly More than Ever (Renaissance Society), and After All (Grafiche Damiani).