Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lance Letscher + Joan Winter + Ana Serrano

Lance Letscher - The Night Kitchen - 2011, collage on masonite, 14x18”
My art review repost from a show in October 2011

Conduit Gallery has a three room solid show featuring artists Lance Letscher, Joan Winter and in the project room Ana Serrano. The best thing about this show is that these artists could not be more different, so you get a unique experience as you travel from room to room. From collage, to model structures, to sculptures and etchings; the variety of objects and ideas at Conduit made my head spin.

Lance Letscher’s show titled “needle in the hay” marks a different approach to collage than I normally have seen from him. Usually I would have expected to see collage cut-outs of geometric shapes that overlap with muted color schemes. However, this shift of work surprised me with the spades of collage cut-outs retaining their shapes and reference to their representational images. In other words, he cut-out a train track and then placed the picture in the collage without altering the image to fit another purpose. This shake up of style is really quite exciting, because Letscher seems to be channeling one of the earliest collage artists, Hannah Höch. The objects feel as random and skillfully messed together, like a DADA artist would want a collage to be. Letscher also avoids the trap of “seen one collage seen them all,” by his sheer skill and experience in selecting the images for each composition.

Joan Winter’s work is less about selection and more about craft and objects. Winter’s show “unfolding light,” confronts you with sculptures of flowing geometric and organic forms. You will notice that the shapes before you are casting shadows, which are reflected in the etchings and photos. To me, Joan Winter’s show was more about the shadows and the play of light, rather than the objects in the room. And although all the images were still, the implication of movement across these works made me feel that the lights were moving like waves across each picture. This was a very quiet and beautiful show.

Conduit has the best project room in Dallas, because the gallery seems to be near fearless in the work they choose to display in the small space. Ana Serrano’s “hand painted dream flow” is the kind of work I expect from this room. Serrano makes models that look like the colorful Latino neighborhoods. Funky and fun, these models are incredibly charming. Now that I have seen Serrano’s work at Conduit, I want to see her supersized installation down in Houston at the Rice Gallery.

I have waited a while to write about Conduit Gallery, but to be honest, I could write about them every time they have a show, because they always have something that peeks my interest. They were the vanguard gallery to shift many of the best galleries to move down to the Design District. Check out Letscher’s randomness, Winter’s shadows, and Serrano’s world at Conduit Gallery, until November 12th.
For more picture of the show go to

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