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"Leslie Hewitt: Where Paths Meet, Turn Away, Then Align Again" on view at Artpace in San Antonio
Leslie Hewitt, Untitled, 2012. Installation view. Photo: Todd Johnson.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Artpace San Antonio announced the unveiling of its International Artists-in-Residence exhibition. New works by resident Leslie Hewitt (New York, New York) will be on view through September 23, 2012. The residents were selected by guest curator Sarah Lewis, an independent curator and historian.

Leslie Hewitt’s work invites viewers to experience a unique space between photography and sculpture. Her compositions are often comprised of political, social, and personal materials that result in the possibility of seeing multiple histories embedded in sculptural, architectural, and even abstract forms. Mundane objects and structures open into complex systems of knowledge; this perceptual slippage is what attracts her to both the illusions of film (still and moving photography) and the undeniable presence of physical objects (sculpture). Exploring this as an artist and not as a historiographer, she draws parallels between the formal appearance of things and their significance to collective history and political consciousness in contemporary art.

During her residency at Artpace, Hewitt used photography as a way to gain perspective on the past and investigated space and form through sculpture. She sought to develop interlocking historical narratives—specifically the social and political climate of the 1960s as pictured in press and news imagery—with sculptural pieces that employ strict geometry, similar to that used in minimalism. Working with steel for this new work, she partnered with a San Antonio metal shop to transform flat sheets of the material. She then interceded in the gallery’s physical space through a subtle architectonic intervention.

While in residency, Hewitt traveled to Houston, Texas, to research and document aspects of the Edmund Carpenter and Adelaide de Menil collection of Civil Rights era photographs, recently gifted to The Menil Collection; studying the archive brought several questions to her mind about the way history is remembered: What wasn’t pictured? What was missed? What were moments lost in between the release of the original camera shutter and now? Ultimately, how to make such questions visible or even felt became a catalyst for her project at Artpace. As a result, she used a micro lens to photographically record fragments pulled from the image field of the archive. In contrast to her earlier works, she moved away from collage within pictorial space to expand into three dimensions and the exploration of perspective and shifts in perspective through sculptural and experiential means.

Hewitt’s exhibition, Where Paths Meet, Turn Away, Then Align Again, explores space conceptually as well as formally through her exploration of the push and pull between flatness and multidimensionality, a singular perspective versus a plural interpretation of history. The installation presents photolithographs, steel sculptures meticulously positioned in the space, and the fabrication of a site-specific wall.

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