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Heather Rasmussen at The Pit


At The Pit in Glendale, Heather Rasmussen’s solo exhibition “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” muses on the human form with poetic self-portraits that feature various vegetables between ripeness and decay. Wrapped around her lithe limbs in several photos, the tromboncino zucchini mimics the human form with its bulging bottom and curving spine. In “Untitled (Pile of squashes on skin),” a detail of the artist’s own flesh is blown up and used as a seamless backdrop for the lyrical squashes, each cased in its own skin-toned peel and laid in a dancerly pile. 

“Untitled (old and moldy squash curtain),” meanwhile, pictures a row of molding squash and vegetables dangling from ribbons, their peels wrinkled and buckling. Elsewhere, the artist uses mirrors, either in the photograph itself — her own form doubling in uncanny configurations — or to frame her printed photograph, bringing the viewer’s own reflection into her layered references. With art historical nods to still life and the nude, Rasmussen’s photographs feel classical, while unexpected touches (like her tripod that slips into certain frames) bring the work to a contemporary inquiry about the body’s fragility, mutability, and ultimate mortality.

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Photo: Heather Rasmussen, Untitled (Squashes on body on skin doubled with green frame), 2020. Pigment print in green frame, 24 x 66 inches. Photo credit Jeff Mclane. Courtesy of the Artist and The Pit.