The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, November 16, 2018


Leslie Hewitt presents a new set of photographs at Perrotin Paris
Installation view. © Claire Dorn / Courtesy Perrotin & the artist.

by François Salmeron


PARIS.- For her first exhibition at Perrotin Paris, the American artist Leslie Hewitt (born in 1977 in New York) presents a new set of photographs drawn from the series Riffs on Real Time. The set is accompanied by a new trajectory including colour grounds (unobstructed photograms and digital chromogenic prints) and minimalist sculptures.

Associating vernacular snapshots with archival documents photographed against textured motifs, the compositions that make up Riffs on Real Time are rooted in an idiosyncratic reaction to post civil rights and postindustrial americana (1950–89). The complex arrangement of the material brings to mind Photoshop-based montages and the visual manipulations that are spread online, and invites us to question, in the tradition of conceptual American photography (John Baldessari, Allan Sekula, Taryn Simon, etc.), the power that we generally attribute to this medium, i.e. the power to bear witness to the past objectively, to shape our memory, to build a collective history.

Launched in 2002, the series Riffs on Real Time, shown at MoMA in 2009 and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2015, superimposes three layers of images. First, our gaze focuses on snapshots taken from the photo albums of Leslie Hewitt’s friends, relatives and associates, whose blurred, erased or worn outlines give them the aura of ‘relics’1.

But while their “original” meaning and particular context may sometimes escape the artist, each of these snapshots is placed on top of a larger document (covers drawn from African American protest writings, magazine reportage, governmental archives, etc.) that frames it and anchors it in a broader sociopolitical context, i.e. documents of such demands, marches and riots related to the fight for human rights – elliptical images that we have to complete mentally, since their centre remains obscure, prompting precarious free association.

Finally, a last layer, serving as a background to the whole, reveals textured motifs. These are the grooves in the floorboard of the artist’s studio, on which the two previously superimposed objects have been laid out and photographed from above. This third plan therefore opens up a dialectic field in which intimate and political iconographies, private and public spaces, personal and collective memories resonate off one another. A dialogue then emerges between history and History. Inspired by cinematic montage, this arrangement reminds us that the meaning of images, far from being intrinsic, depends on the way in which they are arranged and connected to one another. In that sense, the term ‘riff’, borrowed from the vocabulary of bebop, a jazz movement whose members were (Max Roach, Charles Mingus, etc.) actively engaged in the fight for civil rights, refers to the art of freely combining melodic and rhythmic elements in the structure of the solos.

Achromatic Scales, a brand-new black-and-white version of the Riffs on Real Time series seen at the Armory Show, reveals a new chiaroscuro aesthetic in the work of Leslie Hewitt, who has here ‘dechromatized’ the reclaimed colour photographs and documents. Working with an analogue camera and using daylight, the artist demonstrates the ambiguities of photography – a medium that can highlight a situation and render it visible, reveal it to our gaze, but that can also make it obscure, underexpose it and let it linger in the ‘black holes’ of history and memory. Leslie Hewitt therefore questions the way in which an event can be put forward or kept in the background in a country’s culture and official history. Criticizing the alleged objectivity of photography, commonly interpreted as genuine proof of ‘what was’ 2, Hewitt argues that each and every image only offers a singular and subjective perspective that attempts to influence our perception of reality – if only through framing or the angle from which the shot is taken. The compositions elaborated by Leslie Hewitt are thus void of chroma and combined with the chromatic filled grounds, whose golden, cyan or green-checked tones were carefully chosen to balance the texture of the silver gelatin prints in both form and concept. These monochromes together form a colourful selection, a tribute to the abstractions of the suprematists or the gamut of colour moving through digital space in perpetuity.

Playing on an interpretation of the Dutch vanitas paintings of the seventeenth century, Hewitt’s photo-sculptures like the series Still Life (2013) and Riffs on Real Time owing to the quality of their chiaroscuro and their studio composition, the assemblages draw on a approach to photography as object. Indeed, the layering of the images gives a rare depth to a medium that is generally reduced to its two-dimensional nature. The work on the textures and the retrieved materials contribute a certain volume to the whole, and render even more tangible the elements present on the surface of the pictures. Moreover, these photographs are accompanied by a minimalist sculpture made up of simple materials, copper and wood. Displayed on the floor, it shows us that the artist, who trained as a sculptor, has a willingness to engage in a materialist or formalist conversation with the vocabulary of Minimalism. Two on-site installations confirm Leslie Hewitt’s taste for the spatialization of materials. Two wall like structures duplicate, through their dimensions, the doors and windows of the second floor of Perrotin gallery. Adapting themselves to the architecture of the building, these sculptures rest on the floor and against the wall inviting us to question the role of formalism and the slippages found between representation and real life.

1 André Bazin, ‘Ontologie de l’image photographique’, in: Qu’est-ce que le cinéma? (Paris: Editions Le Cerf, 2002, p. 14).

2 Roland Barthes, La Chambre claire. Note sur la photographie, chapitre 32 « Le ça-a-été », chapitre 34 « L’authentification », Editions Gallimard, Paris, 1980.





Today's News

September 8, 2018

Design genius of video games explored in major Victoria & Albert Museum show

Lévy Gorvy opens first exhibition organized by co-founder Brett Gorvy

The largest ever work by Zao Wou-Ki, Juin-Octobre 1985, leads Sotheby's HK autumn 2018 sale series

Spanish sculptures get kitschy colours in another botched restoration

The world's first film poster achieves £160,000 in Sotheby's online sale

Aretha Franklin dresses going on auction

Christie's to sell the beautiful collection of the late Juan de Beistegui

Exceptional exhibition brings together works by Alexander Calder and Joan Miró

Exhibition showcases highlights from the private collection of Dawn and David Lenhardt

Xavier Hufkens opens two-venue exhibition of new paintings and collages by Sterling Ruby

The Natural History Museum opens The Anning Rooms, an exclusive new space for Members and Patrons

Italian architect Renzo Piano presents Genoa bridge plan

Getting to the roots of our ancient cousin's diet

The New Art Dealers Alliance adds 14 new gallery members

Heritage Auctions returns to 'Asia Week' in New York with Fine & Decorative Asian Art Auction

Exhibition of new work by Kathy Butterly opens at James Cohan

The Indian artist drawing portraits with a typewriter

Wasteland makeovers bring creative cool to Paris suburb

Sotheby's Hong Kong to offer two exceptionally rare chronograph wristwatches

Polly Apfelbaum presents six of her space-consuming installations at Belvedere 21

Burning in Water presents a series of sculptures by Borinquen Gallo

Exhibition surveys Nagasawa Rosetsu's art through a selection of sixty of his most important paintings

The Museum of Arts and Design examines the future of craft in new exhibition

Leslie Hewitt presents a new set of photographs at Perrotin Paris

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales

2.- Christie's announces auction of Magnificent Jewels and the concurrent Jewels Online Auction

3.- French court finds Jeff Koons guilty of plagiarism

4.- Papers of the exiled Stuart kings published online for the first time

5.- New exhibition explores relationship between British and Russian royal dynasties

6.- Wes Anderson presents box of 'treasures' from Viennese vaults

7.- Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies present...The Dark Side of Hollywood

8.- Hopper, de Kooning, Gorky and Stella hit new auction records in New York

9.- Old Master? Cave paintings from 40,000 years ago are world's earliest figurative art

10.- Cat mummies, animal statues discovered in Egypt sarcophagi



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 
Check out Casinostoplay.com for a range of beautifully designed online slot games.

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful