Jessica Labatte, the 100th artist to participate in the UBS 12 x 12 series, explores the color and shape of everyday objects and materials to create an installation that combines the traditions of collage and still life with the illusionistic tendencies of photography. Labatte's exhibition opened on the evening of December 3 during First Fridays as the monthly UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work at the Museum of Contemporary Art
(MCA), Chicago, and runs through January 2, 2011.
For her UBS 12 x 12 exhibition, Labatte employs elaborate compositional strategies and the careful juxtaposition of found paper objects, to create sophisticated images with a confusing sense of spatial depth. She manipulates the picture plane using a large format camera to emphasize a deceptively flattened space. On first look, her three-dimensional arrangements often appear two-dimensional. However, she deliberately leaves clues (often in the form of small shadows) to remind viewers that these are photographs of objects. Her large-scale work The Brightness forms the centerpiece of her installation that showcases paper detritus found in her studio, which is then meticulously arranged to explore ideas of color theory.
Labatte's work continues the trend towards abstraction found in many contemporary photographic practices. She says, "This installation is part of my larger practice of exploration of studio creations, and the process of building images. They both deal with representations and misrepresentations and the qualities of space and flatness within an image."
Labatte received her BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and 2009. She discusses her work in a public conversation on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 6 pm.