HuffPost Arts’ Haiku Reviews is a monthly feature where invited critics review exhibitions and performances in short form. Some will be in the traditional Haiku form of 5x7x5 syllables, others might be a sonnet and others might be more free-form. This month, George Heymont, Laurence Vittes and Peter Frank give their quick takes on performing and visual arts.
Lance Letscher must be one of America’s most truly dedicated, even obsessive collagists, and that’s saying a lot. He covers his available surfaces – which in this case include an array of books – with thick webs of paper bits, every one of them carefully cut or even carved out of its original source and fit together amidst all the others as if inlaid. This isn’t jigsaw-puzzling, this is jeweling. The Austin-based artist clearly loves making collages, using the technique in some cases to satisfy a list-making impulse by collecting myriad images of the same object, but more often to assuage his horror vacui with superbly interlaced tangles of letters, textures, pictures of things, borrowings from old magazines, color swatches, and all manner of stuff. Stuff indeed – Letscher’s approach to collage, manic as it is, conveys a palpable element of relief, as it infers the recycling of every scrap of paper that’s collected in your attic, library, or woodshed. It’s the everything-is-useful aesthetic brought to delightful refinement and powered more by wit, curiosity, and, yes, poetry than by crafty self-indulgence. Letscher’s formal method is close to that of Kurt Schwitters, but his sensibility descends from Joseph Cornell. (8 Modern, 231 Delgado St., Santa Fe; thru June 30. www.eightmodern.net)
– Peter Frank