Jul 012024

Laura Letinsky’s has created several intriguing photographs for her exhibition, For, And Because Of…, at Yancey Richardson. Her unique assortments of objects- half eaten and smashed fruit, dying or dead flowers, loose papers, ceramic pieces- form works that challenge the idea of the still-life.

From the gallery’s press release-

The work in For, and because of… was made mostly during Letinsky’s 2023 residency in the South of France at La Maison Dora Maar, the former home of Maar, the French photographer, painter, and poet, who was also the romantic partner of Picasso. Inspired by the light of Provence in contrast to the dark weather of her home base in Chicago, Letinsky began a series she titled Who Loves the Sun in which she used natural light together with artificial light to provide her images with a radiant glow. Her subjects included borrowed objects such as a ceramic vase and glassware from La Maison that may have belonged to Maar. The detritus left behind from other artists-in-residence, as well as flowers and weeds growing nearby also found their way into her images. Yet, her photographs are not necessarily about what objects appear within them but rather about the medium of photography itself.

Letinsky explains, “I make pictures of very ordinary things in a way that destabilizes and questions the camera’s authority while also indulging in its sexiness, solicitating a visual pleasure that is tethered to other senses.” Letinsky complicates the singular point of view of the camera by building frames within frames and precariously positioning objects in relation to one another. In reference to her innovative picture spaces, Letinsky notes, “Cezanne’s still lifes described objects from multiple perspectives so as to refer to perception being a constantly shifting process. I try to harness this, to articulate that we’ve two eyes and are ambulant living beings.”

Through her work, Letinsky questions what is necessary to make a photograph that is considered “good.” Dissonance and interruption are components of her language in which objects’ perspectival positions are abstracted and gravity is elided. By working with objects associated with the home, she makes images that evoke tenderness and project an uneasy and fragile beauty.

The exhibition title, For, and because of… refers to the incommensurability of things, suggesting that there is not a concrete metric by which to measure or to reckon with life events. Letinsky notes, “So the show, the work, is for, and because of the wars, because you never called me back, for the rain that watered my garden, because the train was late, for my sons, because flowers bloom…”

This exhibition closes 7/3/24.