The remains of a meal are never as appealing in real life as they are when photographed by Laura Letinsky, whose light-drenched images make melon rinds, lipstick-stained wineglasses, and even fast-food wrappers oddly enticing. The U. of C. professor gives us more to drool over in February, with two new exhibits: Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, a group show at Hyde Park’s Smart Museum that celebrates the connection between artistic output and the act of sharing food, and a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The latter features Letinsky’s most recent work, in which she replaces the food and tableware in her dinner tableaux with 2-D images culled from art books and her own portfolio, but the results are as mouthwatering as ever. Cleaning your plate is so overrated.
GO Feast runs Feb. 16 through June 10 at the Smart Museum. Chicago Works: Laura Letinsky runs Feb. 7 through Apr. 17 at the MCA.
Photograph: Laura Letinsky, Rome, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson, New York