Laura Letinsky's Re-Addressing of Space

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Laura Letinsky's Re-Addressing of Space
Laura Letinsky, 'Untitled #8', 2010, FROM THE SERIES ILL FROM & VOID FULL
Laura Letinsky's Re-Addressing of Space

Laura Letinsky's early series, Venus Inferred (1990-96), looks at intimacy and domesticity, sometimes using her partner and herself as subject matter. Her focus then shifted towards the still lifes for which she is renowned. Referencing Freud's essay 'Mourning and Melancholia', the series, 'Morning and Melancholia' (1997-2001), presents the detritus from an indulgent dinner party of the previous evening. Tables with remnants of food in varying states of decay are seen from above to reveal the far edge and the subsequent drop into space. Northern Renaissance painting casts a strong influence across Letinksy's work, the balance between ripeness and decay proving intrinsic to her practice. The still lifes are inextricably involved in matter of consumerism and consumption, tying the microcosmic scenes to larger social structures.

Developing the line of questioning about artifice and representation opened up in her earlier work, Letinsky's series 'Ill Form and Void Full' (2010-11) uses paper cuttings from lifestyle magazines alongside three-dimensional objects to challenge assumptions of vision. The relationship between positive and negative space is brought into question as collage and assemblage merge into a dizzying nexus of visual information. Quoting Matisse and Rauschenberg more so than the Cubists, Letinsky undertakes a postmodernist dissolution of high and low distinctions to probe the truth' value with of a photograph. As Letinsky has said: 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.' Letinsky's art relies on 'trompe d'oeil' and other visual trickery to force the viewer to question the pretence implicit to the medium.

 
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