Yancey Richardson is pleased to present Albeit, an exhibition of photographs by Laura Letinsky. Comprised of photographic assemblages made in 2013 using a flatbed scanner and magazines, the exhibition demonstrates Letinsky’s innovative approach to still life. These early forays in substituting printed matter in place of objects in the studio are being exhibited for the first time, and display experimental methods later developed in her series: Ill Form & Void Full (2014), To Want for Nothing (2019), A Blind Promise Or, A Rash Boon (2020).
In Albeit, the collage-like arrangements employ two-dimensional elements as sculptural objects, dissolving the hierarchy between high and low imagery. In place of the camera and studio set up traditionally used to make still lifes, Letinsky embraced the restrictions of the flatbed scanner to explore form. As she states, “I was experimenting with the “democracy” of the flatbed scanner, it’s light and lens insensitive to the material. The focus was variable only by what was closer to the scanner bed, the lighting is predetermined, and the scale is also small and predetermined. Working this way freed me up formally.”
Throughout her career, Letinsky’s work has explored ideas around desire, longing, consuming and at times the melancholy that follows gratification. The magazine images she cut out and arranged in layered compositions feature succulent fruit, gooey cakes, silhouettes of goblets, and cutlery on empty plates, suggesting meals consumed and enjoyed. Letinsky argues that photographs are read not only as information, but also as instructions on how to build our lives. We enact what we see in photographs and then photograph what we enact, creating an endless loop of production and consumption.
Laura Letinsky was born in 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada. She received her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1986 and MFA from Yale University’s School of Art in 1991. Since 1994, she has been a Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Foam Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Denver Art Museum; Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Renaissance Society, Chicago. Public collections featuring Letinsky’s work include the Art Institute of Chicago; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Yale University Art Gallery. She has received numerous awards, including the Canada Council International Residency (2014); Richard Driehaus Foundation Award (2003); Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2002); and the Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2000). Publications include To Want for Nothing, ROMAN NVMERALS, 2019; Time’s Assignation, Radius Books, 2018; Ill Form and Void Full, Radius Books, 2014; After All, Damiani, 2010; Hardly More Than Ever, Renaissance Society, 2004; and Venus Inferred, University of Chicago Press, 2000.