The first properly so-called and full-term solo exhibition in Pocket Utopia's recently rung-in LES location, Photo Still: Ellen Letcher, is set to open quite soon, and we wholeheartedly recommend you note the date. Letcher's collages are chromatically graceful, deftly rendered, quick-to-captivate and thus duly remarkable; brightly colorful forms in painted portions demand your attention until collaged-in curiosities command, then commandeer, your gaze.
Light on the eyes in the fairest of ways to better stay deeply etched in the mind, the artist's mixed-media interminglings of painting and imagery explore a broad range of subtly nudged-at, hint-tending themes—social, political, sexual, erotico-sociopolitical, politico-commercial-societal, and so forth, lingering all the while in some strange temporal air that might be described as timeless contemporary. Letcher achieves this, however, with an unwaveringly even hand, and with an even-handedly elegant touch, and with just the right measure of design-savvy palettes and sparely laid backdrops to make hers among the most unmistakable collages one might encounter. Letcher's tools, inputs and materials are perhaps, overall, many and varied, yet her expertise is in never allowing her work to appear disparate or over-wrought. It never does, striking instead a fine cohesive balance that is very difficult to achieve with collage—a fine balance that is thus all the more aesthetically crucial.
Bright, in a way. Light, in a way. Socially engaged in a way that seems by-the-way.
Letcher's works can arrest and overwhelm nonetheless. Viewers are unlikely to not fully engage.
Go see them for yourself in the coming weeks. Dig in deep and care not to dig out.
The opening reception for Photo Still: Ellen Letcher is this Saturday, June 9th, from 6-8pm. The exhibit will remain on view until July 15th. Pocket Utopia is located at 191 Henry St., near the East Broadway F stop. More information here.
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