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Letitia Quesenberry

2020 State Fellow

Letitia Quesenberry

Recipient Information


Louisville, Kentucky


Panel, Lacquer, Plexiglas, Film, Resin, LED

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowship

Grant Amount


Artist Biography

Letitia Quesenberry lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. Through the play of material, process, surface and technology, her work surveys the boundaries of visual perception. Recent solo and group exhibitions include 57W57Arts New York, NY; Pieter PASD, Los Angeles, CA; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Quappi Projects / 21C Museums / KMAC / Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY. She is the recipient of grants from Great Meadows Foundation, the Al Smith Fellowship and the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship.

Artist Statement

Hypnotic bewilderment.

Attempts at structure in the face of explicit uncertainty.

To me, the clamor for constant decisive action invites a contrast of more subtle encounters. I use abstract filters, color and light as a means to activate the boundaries of optical experience. My creative efforts focus on the limitations of memory and questions about perception. These concerns involve the cultivation of an aesthetic inscrutability, a kind of visual veiling that destabilizes visibility. To this end, I work with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, text and light. I combine semitransparent materials like tinted resin, color correction film, beeswax, sanded plexiglass with reflective or opaque materials like fluorescent paint, mica dust, coal slag.

Several concurrent series reveal my recent observations of space, color, and light. Using LEDs, I build geometric boxes and room-sized installations where layered concentric bands of color film change hue in an unpredictable motion. The combination of semi-opaque layers illuminated by slowly changing lights creates a pulsing visual effect. Shapes and colors advance and recede in an endless hypnotic loop.

The BLSH series takes the form of the light boxes but instead uses reflected color and depth rather than light itself for an overall more subdued effect. Other ongoing series use the visual structure of SX70 Polaroids as a jumping off point. My labor-intensive process involves building dimensional frames to house layers of specific material elements. Squares bounded by rectangles contain recurrent shapes, patterns and symbols; an imagined architecture for ephemerality, desire, loss.

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