Laura Letinsky is a theoretically minded photographer who is sensitive to art history. Her photographic still lifes have all the light obsession of a Vermeer and the lushness of Dutch vanitas paintings, but contain modern Styrofoam cups among natural detritus of orange rinds and rumpled and spilled cut flowers. And her recent photographs of two-dimensional image ensembles construct mysterious relationships and disarrange our familiar associations. Her work is often beautiful and ambiguous and full of the pathos of decay and, as such, suggests the outlines of the photographic medium itself.

Originally from Canada, Letinsky is based in Chicago, where she is a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the...

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