Perrotin Paris is pleased to present an installation of recent work by New York and Houston based artist Leslie Hewitt opening September 2 and on view through September 23. Drawing from her understanding of the convergence of time and spatial relationships, in the three series on view, Hewitt juxtaposes disparate images or objects, which she unifies to create a cohesive whole.
In her photo-sculpture series, titled Spiral and Loop, Hewitt presents a collection of still-life photographs encased in custom-crafted wooden frames, leaning against the wall at a precise 15 degree angle. Hewitt captures these images in her studio, utilizing a fixed camera angle and playing with the soft illumination of the natural light flooding through the windows.
Within each of the compositions, Hewitt thoughtfully juxtaposes personal objects–a stack of books, an abstract drawing, or found photographs from family and friends–with raw materials–wood and stone. Hewitt’s meticulous placement of objects confines these materials within a transitional space where they undergo a choreographic and geometric arrangement, but are ultimately all influenced by her own hands. By displacing and repositioning these objects in the camera’s fixed space, Hewitt is able to achieve a profound sense of balance and harmony, manifesting in each work as a gentle and nuanced unfolding of visual phrases.
Alongside her photo-sculptures, Hewitt presents two industrially fabricated steel sculptures. These sheets of metal were folded at different points along the same plane, forming an array of visually striking 90-degree angles. These geometric forms not only captivate the viewer with their aesthetics, but also mirror an industrial environment in the way they embody themes of navigation, perspective, and orientation. Through their dimensions and sharp angles, the structures respond to the doors, windows, and corners of the space, blending into the gallery’s architecture, further emphasizing Hewitt’s understanding of spatial relationships.
In the series Daylight/Daylong, Leslie Hewitt encapsulates her research conducted at the Chinati Foundation, in Marfa, Texas through a captivating collection of diptych photographs. Each composition features a striking interplay between the left and right side. On the left, Hewitt captures the magnificent and radiant sunrise stretching across the West Texas horizon.
In response, the right side depicts an abstract representation of her sensory encounter with Dan Flavin’s 1996 light installation, Untitled (Marfa Project) which, through low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge in fluorescent tubes produces intense ultraviolet light.
Her frames are set at varying depths within artist-designed wooden boxes, adding a three-dimensional quality to the works. These slanted frames entice viewers to walk around the works and engage with them from varying angles, thus prompting a personal contemplation of altered perspective. The works blend light and color, and work to bridge the gap between past and present, time and space.
Born in 1977 in New York, New York, USA
Lives and works between New York, New York and Houston, Texas
Leslie Hewitt’s hybrid approach to photography and sculpture revisits the still life genre from a post-minimalist perspective. Her geometric compositions, which she frames and crystallizes through the disciplines of photography and film theory, respectively, are spare assemblages of ordinary effects and materials, suggesting the porosity between intimate and sociopolitical histories. Whether discreetly arranged in layers on wooden planks or stacked before a wall in her studio, Hewitt’s objects often include personal mementos such as family pictures, as well as books and vintage magazines that reference the black literary and popular-culture ephemera of her upbringing. Interested in the mechanisms behind the construction of meaning and memory, she decisively challenges both by unfolding manifestly formal, rather than didactic, connections in her heteroclite juxtapositions. She puts pressure on physical space as the ultimate frame of her photo sculptures by displaying some of them leaning against a wall, as they were originally conceived. Hewitt further works with site-specific installation and film as modalities to contend equally with the notions of space and time.