Laura Letinsky: After All
The setup is classic and familiar: a table draped with a white cloth, a dish of fruit, a sugar bowl. Yet instead of the meal awaiting an unseen viewer's consumption, as in a classic still life, Laura Letinsky photographs what remains on the table after the food has been eaten, leaving only crumbs, melon rinds, a cantaloupe pocked with rot and a half-finished lollipop. Letinsky explores the inextricable relationship between ripeness and decay, delicacy and clumsiness, waste and plenitude, pleasure and sustenance. The influence of Dutch-Flemish and Italian still-life paintings—whose exacting beauty documented shifting social attitudes resulting from exploration, colonization, economics and ideas about seeing as a kind of truth—can be seen here as well. In After All, Letinsky explores photography's transformative quality, changing what is typically overlooked into something splendid in its resilience. Poet Mark Strand contributes an essay to this marvelous volume.
Published by Damiani, 2010, hardcover, 96 pages, 9.5 x 11 inches.