The Minimalist still life

Laura Letinsky, Untitled 1, Fall 2009

Preparing  lecture on the still life, I’ve rediscovered the work of Laura Letinsky. She is a Canadian artist who makes finely composed still lifes inspired by domestic disorder. White table clothes and white walls provide a pristine stage for her assemblies of fruit, plates, leftovers and food stains.  The arrangements are made with great precision – note the contrast of tension/relaxation in the placement below. Fruit and bottle are teetering on the edge, with casual emptiness behind. At the same time, it is plausibly seen as just the natural disorder of any home. It’s a tightrope.

Over time, Letinsky has minimized the ingredients and colour palette to just white with accents of colour. She works in 10×8, which probably explains the tilting planes, depth-of-field and subtlety of colour and texture.

A good archive of her images can be seen one of her German galleries, Galerie m Bochum, and there’s a video interview with her on Vimeo.

Laura Letinsky, Untitled #43, 2001


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