Leslie Hewitt Exhibition

Sikkema, Jenkins & Co

poster for Leslie Hewitt Exhibition

This event has ended.

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. presents an exhibition of new work by Leslie Hewitt, her first solo show with the gallery.

Leslie Hewitt’s installations call attention to the way we see and experience photography. Her framed photographs lean against the wall, drawing attention to the physical presence of the work, and suggesting a sculptural object and site–specific installation. The images themselves utilize the classical still life motif. Her compositions incorporate material selections imbued with historical, political, social, and personal affect.

Hewitt uses the language of photography to interrogate the function of memory by calling to attention the displacement in time and location that occurs in its realm. This has led Hewitt to think about how we process images. Curator Randi Hopkins notes: “By viewing the photograph both as an object and as an image, Hewitt is able to explore the sculptural weight and portable nature of the photograph, and to look into the fact that we encounter photographs transported in time as well as in space. A photograph always documents the past, and also always exists displaced from the location it represents, yet it maintains an indexical relationship to the time and place of its origin – points to it, is inextricably tied to it.” Even as images are reproduced and disseminated, they continue to reference their original context with documentary specificity or with only vague reminiscence or pure abstraction.

The current exhibition includes two photographic series: Riffs on Real Time (2013) and Still Life (2013). Continuing a body of work begun in 2002, the works in Riffs on Real Time share a formal compositional structure – layered constructions of collaged elements are arranged on her studio floor, which Hewitt has photographed from above. Within that set structure and perspective, Hewitt creates visual syncopation and variation using patterns, breaks, or points of rest between the elements within each frame, and within the series as a whole.

The use of repetition and seriality in the series Still Life enables Hewitt to forge a connection between carefully selected disparate elements as well as to underscore the fact that the works exist over time across the span of a continuing project. Her engagement with time and the representation of silence is motivated by the desire to explore how Americans have engaged or disengaged with both the literary references to and the historical language of the civil rights era narrative (on a micro and macro scale). The constant refrain throughout the series is provided by James Baldwin’s 1963 book, The Fire Next Time, seen in each photograph alternating in visibility. Positioned with found photographs, other books, a maple wood board, and a perfectly sliced lemon (a nod toward the symbolism of citrus fruit in 17th century still life painting), the composition represents a deconstructed yet reassembled contemporary still life.

The photographic series are shown with two wall interventions, which lean against the wall and mirror the dimensions of the gallery doorways. Borrowing the language of the gallery’s architecture, the presence of the interventions creates new relationships between the works on view, shifting attention back and forth between the visual, pictorial images in the photographs and the physical elements that are experienced in real time.

Leslie Hewitt was born in Saint Albans, NY in 1977 and lives and works in New York City. She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and a MFA from Yale University School of Art. She has exhibited in a number of American and international galleries and her work is in the public collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; among others. In the spring of 2012 she was a Guna S. Mundheim Fellow in the visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany.

Hewitt’s collaborative project with cinematographer Bradford Young, Untitled (Structures) was recently exhibited at Des Moines Art Center and The Menil Collection, Houston. It will travel to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago from March 15 through September 7, 2014. It will also be presented at the Lofoten International Art Festival in Svolvær, Norway from September 6 through 29.



from September 03, 2013 to October 05, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-09-12 from 18:00 to 20:00


Leslie Hewitt

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