Even the title of Letitia Quesenberry’s latest exhibition (((heat))) imitates her multiple approaches to creating glow.Through her adaptions of electric current, neon, lacquers and resins; Quesenberry reveals the multiplicity of truth through our evaluation of or understanding of visual or memorized perception using various approaches to abstraction as they relate to Op Art amongst others.

Install shot, courtesy of the author. Letitia Quesenberry at Quappi Projects

Void of a time-space reference, the viewer is permitted gratuitous imagination—particularly when seen in the cool, shaded space of a mid day, quiet gallery.

Install shot, courtesy of the author. Letitia Quesenberry at Quappi Projects

To quote the curatorial statement, which was a collaboration between the artist and Gallery Director / Gallerist John Brooks, “(((heat))) presents the newest work of Louisville native Letitia Quesenberry. Exploring and challenging the boundaries of visual experience, Quesenberry’s broad creative efforts focus on questions about visibility and perceptual ambiguity. By combining disparate materials such as color correction film, beeswax, and sanded plexiglass with reflective or opaque materials like resin, graphite, LED’s, plaster, paint, mirrors, coal slag, and mica dust.”

In addition to the evaluative properties of fiction, magic, and perception that appear in this exhibition, there is yet another thought available for consideration—that of consent. It appeared to me first in the statement, reading “. . . this work compels the viewer to look close, with deep intention, and to consent to the experience of seeing. Which is an arcane idea in the scope of viewing artwork at this moment. In the digital and televised we are either inundated or dismissive of thousands of images a minute. But once that metaphoric contract is signed between the viewer and the art within the gallery—the contract that’s made by entering the gallery—the viewer becomes obligated to consider. The viewer is obligated to relate. The viewer is obligated, to attempt.

Consent appears in the form of the making as well. In the approach of the making of pristine mathematic, engineered, and calculated forms— faults appear. This is at no point a criticism—but an experience of the Wabi-Sabi, or the Japanese aesthetic that is accepting and appreciative of transience and imperfection. Where you’d expect exceptional craftsmanship, there are permitted scratches, paint that didn’t quite cover the last layer, or wood with dings. The perfection of the objects implies that these bits of flawed membrane are intentional or allowed on the part of Quesenberry; it appears to be consented failure.

Install shot, courtesy of the author. Letitia Quesenberry at Quappi Projects

(((heat))) is installed in the newly renovated, and recently re-located, Quappi Projects on Market Street until September 6th, 2019.

–Megan Bickel

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