What do clocks, a desk, logs, cardboard boxes, equipment of one kind or another, buildings, a train, meters, fans, a chair, radios, a tractor, a bed, blocks, toy trees, a dollhouse, a telephone, an electrical outlet, Saturn, record players, cut pages from a children's book,a grandfather clock, train cars, cash registers, and Tinker Toys have in common? Nothing. And Everything.
Almost everything any way.
That's the central message in Lance Letscher's work "Almost Everything" now showing at the Conduit Gallery. The 36" by 48" collage is made up of images that look to be from the '50s and early '60s. The objects become smaller in scale further down the piece as if the images would ultimately fade away to nothing if the piece were extended.
And that too is part of the meaning in these cut-outs. These images are of the things that mean everything to us -- places to live and work, means of creating things, items to engage us mentally. They are also things that mean nothing by virtue of the fact that they are "things," which both literally and figuratively fade away.
Some of the objects are grouped by color. Others appear to be in "conversation" with one another, like the blue buildings grouped near the center of the piece and two blue record players in the upper left quadrant respectively. The items also look as if they are raining down on whatever or whoever might be below. Us perhaps?
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The piece also speaks to how things fit together and how they don't. Though unrelated they may be, the objects seem to work together to produce or engage the other objects around them. They are also interesting visually, in terms of both color and shape regardless of what they are used for. And when combined, they create an engaging composition that is both appealing and confounding.
Why string such objects together in work of art? Why focus our existence on objects? Do these objects have any meaning or importance when presented out of context? And does it matter? What do the things we create and covet say about us? Are these things literally everything else?
See the piece and other pieces of Letscher's work at Conduit through November 12.