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Old Growth: New Work by Lance Letscher
August 21, 2020 - September 9, 2020
In TAI Modern’s upcoming exhibition, Old Growth: New Work by Lance Letscher, the renowned collage artist invites the viewer to join him in a bright new world as he embraces his forward motion away from several difficult years of personal stress and anxiety.
“My use of color has leapfrogged and has become a primary focus while in the studio,” Letscher explains in an interview with Lybi Ma. “I think for a while, my work was manic and somewhat dark in tone, because of my manic and dark mental landscape. Now, that it is less that way. The mood in my work has lightened, and the formal qualities, composition, use of space, and use of color, in particular, have improved dramatically.”
Vibrant blossoms of red and yellow contrast startlingly in Felt Suit, an irreverent wink to Joseph Beuys. The eponymous suit, hanging precariously over an ocean of blue rowboats and men’s shoes, appears to be awaiting Elvis‘s selection for a most special night.
Letscher’s eye (and source material) is omnivorous. Fragments of frescos by Giotto, an extensive array of jello molds, and a country-western singer (headless but for one ear) appear in multiple works. Flowers and hands abound. Paper fragments are meticulously cut and collaged together, creating layers upon layers of pattern and texture, somehow resolving the meticulous and the anarchic into a harmonious whole.
Letscher, a lifelong resident of Austin, Texas, has built a remarkable regional, national, and international following, exhibiting throughout the United States, as well as in England, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain. In 2004, a mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work entitled Books and Parts of Books: 1996-2004 traveled to four museums. In 2009, the University of Texas Press published a full-length monograph on his work. Letscher was trained as a printmaker at the University of Texas art school, where he received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. He is the author and illustrator of the children’s book The Perfect Machine and the subject of the documentary film The Secret Life of Lance Letscher.
The exhibition, opening reception, and artist’s talk for Old Growth: New Work by Lance Letscher will all be held in-person at the gallery, supplemented by online exhibitions on taimodern.com and artsy.net. TAI Modern is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am-5 pm.