April 7 – April 30, 2011 Reception: Saturday, April 9, 2-5 pm Artist Talk: Saturday, April 9, 12:30 pm
In “After All,” Letinsky (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1962) builds on her past work “Hardly More Than Ever,” an exploration of the genre of still-life. Letinsky’s use of oblique lines of perspective and depth, juxtaposition of incongruent objects, and exquisitely controlled gradations of light are a forum upon which ideas surrounding food, desire, and death are illuminated.
“After All” includes a selection of photographs from “Hardly More Than Ever” and Letinsky’s recent series “The Dog and the Wolf” as both are influenced by Dutch-Flemish and Italian still-life paintings. “Venus Inferred,” our first exhibition with Letinsky, described couples in love; now we witness the metaphoric aftermath of those relationships: empty tables, decomposing fruit, desiccated scraps, and discarded utensils. These lush momento mori constructions are reminders of both the potential bounty of pleasure, and its fleeting nature.
“The Dog and the Wolf” is a reference to the Aesop Fable of the same name, alluding to the tension between domesticity and a romanticization of the wild. This series, made at twilight as the brood of night approaches, touches upon a formal literalism as this time of day is known also by the phrase, “le chien et le loup.” As with 17th century Dutch vanitas, her elegiac arrangements are a subdued meditation on the passage of day into night. The scarcity of objects in each image - dead animals, wilting flowers, dried orange peels - explore these dichotomous notions, with the shroud of time omnipresent. Letinsky investigates home with its associations of comfort and danger, abundance and effort, and as a place and an idea.
Letinsky received her MFA from Yale University in 1991 and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. Her work is held in the collections of the Stuttgart Museum, Germany, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; amongst many others. She has exhibited internationally, most recently in Rome, London and Germany. This exhibition coincides with the release of Letinsky’s fourth monograph, After All, by Grafiche Damiani. She is currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Stephen Bulger Gallery 1026 Queen Street West Toronto 416.504.0575 bulgergallery.com