HIGH ART: Experience ‘Bucket and the Well’
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – For a town sunk deep in the folds of nature’s wrath and the pockets of our nation’s most conservative, I am consistently shocked at our impressive access to the art of the outside world. Jackson is the permanent home of works by Dali, Chagall, Matisse, and many other superheroes of the cultural landscape.
This doesn’t mean we aren’t exposed to more than our share of bronze buffalo and country kitsch. The parade of tacky is long, loud and endless. Mercifully, sprinkled among the raunchy T-shirt stores and the overpriced bauble shops are a jumble of galleries curating some of the world’s most thought-provoking pieces.
Lauded Texas collagist Lance Letscher is a highlight of this summer’s art offerings. Tayloe Piggot Gallery is hosting his work as a part of a larger study of the collage. I snuck in late one morning and was fortunate to get the place all to myself.
Letscher’s work is warm, controlled and folky. He is a true master of the collage, not a word or shade is out of place. Not to say that there isn’t an arc of whimsy and wit; he is quietly cheeky and ironic.
The piece Forget Me Not, a 24-inch by 14.5-inch collage, is insanely lovely with soft blue pinwheels peppering archaic ledger sheets and old newspaper. There are clever nods to the craft of quilting and street art that light up the collection with explosive colors and patterns. The collage-on-board Big Head is a riot of color and shape. Pinwheels swim amongst each other like a kaleidoscope. The effect is mesmerizing.
This fine little retrospective, The Bucket and The Well, will show through August 24 alongside the companion collection, Interweaving. Both speak tenderly to the grand possibility of the collage and its many incarnations. Romare Bearden, Jane Hammond, Lisa Kokin, Rakuko Naito, Judy Pfaff, and Doug+Mike Starn make up Interweaving, a perfectly fleshed out homage to the craft of collaging.
The reception has passed, but I encourage you to stop in and walk amongst these pieces. You will marvel at the technique and rejoice in the visual fantasyland that Tayloe Piggot Gallery has created. It is possible to forget, however shortly, that white-walled and overly air-conditioned rooms can house a kind of vibrancy that transcends time and place. And most importantly, that these things can exist in our sweet, little, home on the range.