Perhaps the best place to start
with the new work by Austin artist Lance Letscher at D Berman Gallery
is with "My Name." The large rectangular collage could just as easily,
and just as appropriately, be titled "Self-Portrait" or "Artist's
Statement," for it readily serves as a cynosure of Letscher's work.
In "My Name," Letscher has assembled bits of variously textured blue
paper -- some worn, some new -- and affixed them to pieces of cardboard.
He then layered those pieces in uneven mosaiclike horizontal strips.
Heavy-duty staples hold the thick cardboard together. The work is
coated with clear lacquer. The blue hues at the top of "My Name" start
out pale then gradually grow darker to a solid black line in the center
of the image, then they gradually lighten again until the bottom.
Up close, the tactile, three-dimensional quality of Letscher's collage
is at its most compelling, the undulations formed by the paper wonderfully
magnified. Ditto with the tremendous variation in the type of paper
-- the detail is fantastic. However, from far away, "My Name" projects
a totally abstract field of color, a fluid shift of hues. It's that
balance between detail -- at an almost fetishistic level -- and abstraction
that makes Letscher's work so enjoyable.
Landscapes seem the standout in this new gathering. "Rain Cloud" features
bands of faded white paper running across blue. The large "Winter
Wheat" vibrates with the extremely narrow bits of paper used to portray
the brownish fields.
Letscher is very much akin to the school of pattern painters of the
1970s whose reaction against minimalism was to raise pattern and decoration
to a level of high art. His work is not heavy with intellectual constructs.
And that means it's really not very deep either. Letscher makes beautiful
("Lance Letscher: Collages and Drawings" continues through June 23
Berman Gallery, 1701 Guadalupe St.; 477-8877 or
Back to previous page.