September 10 — October 15, 2022
The Art of the Painterly Collage
Conduit Gallery is honored to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Austin-based artist Lance Letscher.
For his elaborately detailed collages, Lance Letscher mines materials from the ephemera and commercial reproductions of used book shops, antique stores and dealers in vintage periodicals. He is drawn to the visuals of an era when illustration dominated over photography. The ink used in the printing of the 1950s and 60s imbues a particular patina and palette to the work. Imagery from the likes of seed catalogues and magazines is venerated and reinterpreted through the artist’s meticulous placement and use of varnish, preserving the mid-century Americana time stamp. With the precision of a surgeon and the inspiration of an alchemist, Letscher uses an X-acto blade to transmute the raw materials causing these to transcend into “the art of the painterly collage”. His richly layered, complex compositions create a kaleidoscope of shape and color. The various illustrated materials, objects and fauna dance across a background saturated in flora while improvisational color fields carry movement to the foreground. In certain works, Letscher uses a garden strategy, layering paper images as he would design a private landscape. Other works are informed by dreams such as Tattoo Idea where a meticulously cut cache of crossed out lists joins a multitude of machined elements. These fragments compose the undulating currents that carry a family of carp. In the artist’s hands, a 2-D picture plane becomes unapologetically Romantic - a sky of roses, a meadow of birds. Gazing upon the saturated field of shapes and colors one is called to dive into the mysterious font of creative production.
Lance Letscher lives and works in Austin, TX where he earned a BFA and an MFA from the University of Texas. His work is shown internationally, including recent exhibitions in France, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Germany. He is represented by galleries in Paris, France; Santa Fe, NM; New York, NY; Jackson, WY; Austin, TX and Dallas, TX. His work is in museum collections including The McNay, San Antonio, TX; The Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Blanton Museum, Austin and the Tyler Museum, Tyler, TX.
In 2009, the University of Texas Press published a monograph of Letscher’s work, which covered a period of work from 2001-2008. In 2016, the film, “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” debuted at the South by Southwest Film Festival and has continued to screen in various film festivals, museums and film houses nationally, including Ovation TV. Directed by Austin based editor and long-time Richard Linklater collaborator, Sandra Adair, the film is a deeply personal and psychological portrait, edited by Adair with a soundtrack composed by Graham Reynolds.