UT Press has just published a handsome catalog of Lance Letscher‘s collage work. Like any good catalog (or solo exhibition), it enriches one’s appreciation of the artist, especially if you haven’t been paying much attention to him previously. The number of galleries (3 in Texas) that show Letscher’s art reflects how popular and highly sellable it is — and sometimes one tends to resist taking seriously something that, on the surface, looks too attractive and easy, albeit painstakingly crafted.
Charles Dee Mitchell has written a great essay that chronicles Letscher’s successful working through an early artistic impasse and reveals the thinking behind his more recent evolutions. Brooke Anderson writes about some of Letscher’s influences. (There is an ironic moment when Anderson opens with a discussion of Kurt Schwitters after Letscher is quoted in the preceding essay as calling Schwitters and Joseph Cornell "old hat and a little boring.")
There are 160 color plates (do we still call them plates?), so you get to see a lot of his stuff.
My only complaint about the book is that the information that goes with each image is not printed next to the image, but in a list in the back, which strikes me as the desire for clean white space taken a bit too far.
The book comes out this month, and it’s a good addition to any library interested in Letscher or in important Texas artists.