UBS 12 × 12′s 100th artist Jessica Labatte’s formal explorations of everyday objects and materials focus on color and shape while emphasizing a collage aesthetic grounded in both the illusionistic tendencies of photography and the still life tradition. In works involving elaborate compositional strategies and the careful juxtaposition of found objects, Labatte eschews any form of digital manipulation to create sophisticated images with a confusing sense of spatial depth. By manipulating the picture plane on her large-format camera and emphasizing a deceptively flattened space, Labatte asks us to consider the photographic space and its relation to both the picture frame and the two-dimensionality of the paper support.
On first look, her three-dimensional arrangements often appear two-dimensional. However, clues are deliberately left (often in the form of small shadows) to remind us that these are photographs of objects. Recent large-scale works such as The Brightness and The Alignment showcase detritus collected from the street or found in the studio, meticulously arranged to give a sense of formal order to the cluttered world of things that surround us. Labatte’s work continues the trend towards abstraction found in many contemporary photographic practices.