Leslie Hewitt

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Leslie Hewitt
Leslie Hewitt Exhibition at Power Plant (24728649456).jpg
Leslie Hewitt Exhibition at Power Plant
Born1977 (age 40–41)
Saint Albans, New York, United States
EducationYale University, M.F.A
New York University, Africana Studies/Cultural Studies
The Cooper Union For the Advancement of Science and Art, B.F.A.
Alma materYale University

Leslie Hewitt (born 1977) is a contemporary visual artist and currently resides in New York City.[1]


Leslie Hewitt was born in 1977 in Saint Albans, New York.[1] Hewitt received a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union's School of Art in 2000 and later received an M.F.A. from Yale University in 2004.[2] She studied Africana Studies and Cultural Studies at New York University from 2001 to 2003. Hewitt has held residencies at the Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.[3][4][5]


Hewitt explores political, social, and personal narratives through photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations.[6] Her work varies in scale from small compositions to billboard sized photographs which rest in wooden frames that lean against the wall and invite viewers to experience a space that rests between sculpture and traditional photography.[2] She references notions of non-linear perspective and double consciousness through arrangements of objects from popular culture and personal ephemera. She is interested in how much we rely on images to provide memories of personal experience, how collective memory of past events is shaped and preserved, and in how the two overlap, coexist, and inform each other.[7] Hewitt draws much of her material from black popular culture of the 1970s and ’80s. Items such as VHS tapes of black cinema, graffitied documents, and books by Alex Haley and Eldridge Cleaver often appear in her photographs or reside within her installations.[8]

Hewitt has an extensive residency and exhibition history. In 2007 she spent a significant amount of time in Houston participating in the Core Program and served as the Project Row Houses/ Core Fellow from 2006–07. Hewitt participated in the 2008 Whitney Biennial with her piece Make it Plain[9] and received a 2008 Art Matters research grant to travel to the Netherlands to research Dutch still-life paintings created during the period of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade at the Rijksmuseum in Holland.[10] From 2009–10 Hewitt was the Mildred Londa Weisman fellow as part of the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard University.[11] During her fellowship Hewitt examined the origins of the camera obscura and used the camera as a tool to explore cultural memory through the construction of temporary still lifes. By repeatedly composing and photographing her arrangements she captured changes in daylight, gravity, and perception.[12]

She was the recipient of the Guna S. Mundheim Berlin Prize in the Visual Arts and Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin for Spring 2012. In the fall of 2012 a solo exhibition of her work, Leslie Hewitt: Sudden Glare of the Sun, was presented at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.[13] Hewitt was the 2014 USA Artists Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz Fellow in Visual Arts. Her work is in the public collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, among others.[14] In 2016, her work was included in Photo-Poetics: An Anthology at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.[15] Leslie Hewitt: Collective Stance, a solo exhibition with collaborative works made with cinematographer Bradford Young, was presented at Sculpture Center in Queens NY in 2016.[16]

Hewitt is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co a contemporary art gallery located at 530 West 22nd Street in the West Chelsea arts district in New York City.[17]


Riffs on Real Time[edit]

Hewitt's recent exhibition featured a collection of 10 highly stylized photographs by the same name in a sleek installation, Unfitted, 2011. Described as "postmodern takes on the still life", Riffs on Real Time is an exploration of how the juxtaposition of different materials can comprise a cultural identity. Created from 2002–2009, a primary image, usually culled from the American media and sociopolitical in bent, is centrally placed on a larger book, photo, or other document so that the image appears framed; in turn, this arrangement is photographed laid out on a hardwood or carpeted floor, which adds yet another frame.[4] Also riffing on the premise of "same but different" was the photo installation Unfitted, in which a large starch-white slab was propped against the wall, scaled to the dimensions of the gallery's doorway. Here, Hewitt's iconography and conceptual choices echoed her previous work, as she insinuated this particular offering into the material legacies of the 1960s and 1970s.This exhibition confirms Hewitt's rightful place among a generation of artists confronting the historical legacies of the 1960s through an amalgamation of artistic strategies that test the premises of photography.[18] It also raises the perplexing issue of what happens when formerly radical strategies have been tamed and naturalized into a generational style.[19]

Untitled (structures)[edit]

This exhibition is a collaboration with cinematographer Bradford Young and producer Karen Chien. Untitled is a series of short silent film vignettes created in 2012.[20] The films are footage from 2010 – 2012 of locations where iconic civil rights photographs were taken in the 1950s and 1960s in Chicago, Memphis, and parts of Arkansas, which were all palpably transformed by the Great Migration. The works are 35mm film transferred to HD video, dual-channel video installation. In an Artforum interview, Hewitt says of the dual-channel video projection: "You can decide to look at one or the other, but your eyes have to contend with both."[21]

Still Life[edit]

In 2013, Hewitt released a series of photographs that were displayed within pristine, tilted maple box-frames, that brings into focus the morphing of images in a studio into object-like artworks shown in a gallery. In Untided (Perception), 2013, the block of maple that rests atop a stack of three books, the only identifiable one being an influential collection of James Baldwin's essays, matches the work's wooden frame (which acts more like a cradle than like a traditional picture frame). A particularly placed lemon with a wedge removed nods to Dutch vanitas paintings, yet the effect achieved is perhaps one of another art-historical moment, an ethos of Mannerism-evidenced in the work's defiance of how a photograph should act. Also in repose nearby was an untitled work comprising two free-floating walls leaning against the gallery architecture. Sculpturally akin to a clunky John McCracken or a slightly tipsy column by Anne Truitt, these ersatz Minimalist objects are in fact made of drywall and wood and were modeled on the texture and size of the gallery walls. They assert a content-free physicality that surprisingly harmonized with the rest of the exhibition's pictorial and physical material. Hewitt's strength in melding content, execution, and presentation was obvious throughout the exhibition; uniting her keen sense of image making with efforts to draw attention to the constructed spaces that surround us, this exhibition pointed in a generative new direction.[22]

Solo shows[edit]

Location Year
Perrotin, Seul, South Korea (forthcoming) 2018
Leslie Hewitt, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY 2017
New Pictures: Lesli Hewitt, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis MN 2016
Collective Stance: Featuring work in collaboration with Bradford Young, The Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY 2016
Leslie Hewitt: Untitled, Olaga Korper Inc., Toronto, Canada 2016
Untitled (Structures): Lesli Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL 2014
Leslie Hewitt, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY 2013
Leslie Hewitt: Sudden Glare of the Sun, Contemporary Art Museum St. Lous, MO 2012
Untitled (Structures): Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; traveled to the Menil Collection, Houston,TX 2012
Blue Skies, Warm Sunlight, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY 2011
Untitled (Level): Leslie Hewitt with Bradford Young, Studio Museum, Harlem New York, NY 2010
Riffs On The Real, Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN 2009
Art Statements, Art 40 Basel, Basel, Switzerland 2009
the everyday, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College CCS, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 2009
Replica of a Lost Original, Artist Space, New York, NY 2007
Leslie Hewitt: It's Just a Feeling, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY 2007
Make It Plain, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA 2006[23]

Group Shows[edit]

Location Year
Out of Easy Reach, curated by Allison Glenn, Gallery 400 at University of Illinois in collaboration with DePaul Art Museum and Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, IL; will travel to Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana (forthcoming) 2018
Out of Easy Reach, curated by Allison Glenn, Gallery 400 at University of Illinois in collaboration with DePaul Art Museum and Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, IL 2017
An unassailable and monumental dignity, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada 2017
Women with a Camera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL 2017
Fond Illusions, Perrotin, New York, NY 2017
The 11th White Columns Annual, New York, NY 2017
Resistance, Protest, Resilience, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN 2016
Crisis of Presence, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland 2016
A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age, George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY 2016
Ordinary Pictures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN 2016
Human Interest: Portrait's from the Whitney's Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art 2016
Line of Flight, The Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY 2016
Statements: African American Art from the Museum's Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX 2016
Signal Noise, Simon Preston Gallery, New York, NY 2016
Jennie C. Jones, Josephine Halvorson, Leslie Hewitt, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY 2015
Time/ Image, Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, Houston, TX 2015
A Story within a Story, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA), Göteborg, Sweden 2015
Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany; traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY 2015
Picture Thing, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 2015
Power Structures, P!, New York, NY 2015
Speaking of People, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 2015
ICA Collection: In Context, Institute of Contemporary Art/Bston, Boston, MA 2014
The Material Image, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY 2014
Material Histories, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 2014
On Artworks, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY 2014
A Public Fiction, In the Room: Leslie Hewitt, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles CA 2014
Palimpsest, Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art, Miami, FL 2013
Under Another Name, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 2013
Untitled (Structures), Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, Lofoten International Art Festival, Svolvær and Kabelvåg in the Lofoten archipelago, Norway 2013
Test Pattern, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 2013
Body Language, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY – Homebodies, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL 2013
19 New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY 2013
Herbert Matter, Leslie Hewitt, Louis-Emile Durandelle, Louise Lawler,

Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY

La Bibliothéque Comme Mémoire, Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie, Paris, France 2012
Terrain Shift, Works from the Miller Meigs Collection, Lumber Room, Portland, OR 2012
Blues for Smoke, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 2012
Momentum Series 15: Leslie Hewitt, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Boston, MA 2011
The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; traveled to The Jones Center at The Contemporary Austin, Austin, Texas 2011
Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA 2011
Maisterra Valbuena Galería, Madrid, Spain 2010
Lush Life – Wolf Tickets, Salon 94 Freemans, New York, NY 2010
At Home-Not At Home: The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Collection, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College CCS, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 2010
Mutiny Seemed a Probability, Fondazione Giuliani per l’arte contemporanea, Rome, Italy 2010
After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY 2010
The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 2010
30 Seconds Off an Inch, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 2009
New Photography 2009, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY 2009
The Garden of Forking Paths, Maisterra Valbuena Galería, Madrid, Spain 2009
Cumanana, Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2009
Photodimensional, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL 2009
The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm, Tina Kim Gallery, New York, NY 2009
Untitled (Vicarious): Photographing the Constructed Object, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY 2008
The Fullness of Time, Arndt & Partner, Zurich, Switzerland 2008
New Intuitions, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 2008
After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 2008
2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 2008
Alabama, Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerpen, Belgium 2007
Civil Restitutions, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK 2006
Study Hall: The Carbonist School, Eyedrum Art/Musical, Atlanta, GA 2006
Double Exposure, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT 2006
Being There, Cuchifritos Gallery / Project Space, New York, NY 2005
Happenstance, Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York, NY 2005
Gimme Shelter, Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2005
Talk to the Land, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY 2005
Frequency, Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, New York 2005
Make it Now, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY 2005[23]


Awards Year
Tangier Mentor in the Arts, Cornell University 2015
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award 2014
USA Francie Bishop Good and David Hovitz Fellow 2014
Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize 2010
Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award 2010[24]
Urban Visionaries: Emerging Talent, The Cooper Union, New York, NY 2009
Art Matters Grant 2008
The Helene Rubinstein Foundation Fellowship Award 2008
There Helen Rubinstein Foundation Fellowship Award 2007
The Rema Sort Mann Foundation Fellowship Award, New York, NY 2007
The Eliza Prize, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX 2007[23]


  1. ^ a b Dominic,, Molon,; Johanna,, Burton,; Esperanza,, Rosales,; Lisa,, Melandri,; Samantha,, Topol,; Louis,, Contemporary Art Museum St. Leslie Hewitt : sudden glare of the sun. ISBN 9780977752898. OCLC 845516508.
  2. ^ a b "Leslie Hewitt". Guggenheim Collection Online. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Talk: Leslie Hewitt: Propositions in Still Photography & Film Vignettes — Minneapolis Institute of Art | Minneapolis Institute of Art". Minneapolis Institute of Art. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  4. ^ a b "Leslie Hewitt". www.guggenheim.org. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  5. ^ "Leslie Hewitt | Clough Hanson". sites.rhodes.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  6. ^ "Event". The Kitchen. May 10, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Hopkins, Randi. "Leslie Hewitt explores the role of photography in recapturing the past". Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Lovell, Whitfield. "Leslie Hewitt by Whitfield Lovell". Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Leslie Hewitt". Guggenheim Collection Online. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  10. ^ Website by Project Projects, www.projectprojects.com, 2006–2007. "D'Amelio Terras". Damelioterras.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  11. ^ "Leslie Hewitt". March 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "Leslie Hewitt – Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study – Harvard University". Radcliffe.edu. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Design, TOKY Branding +. "Leslie Hewitt: Sudden Glare of the Sun | Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis". camstl.org. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  14. ^ "Artist Biography". Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  15. ^ "Photo-Poetics: An Anthology". www.brooklynrail.org. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  16. ^ SculptureCenter. "SculptureCenter Exhibition – Leslie Hewitt: Collective Stance". sculpture-center.org. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  17. ^ "Sikkema Jenkins & Co: Artists: Leslie Hewitt". Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  18. ^ "Leslie Hewitt by Whitfield Lovell - BOMB Magazine". bombmagazine.org.
  19. ^ Banai, Nuit. "Artforum International".
  20. ^ "Leslie Hewitt, Bradford Young, and a Cold Intimacy - Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts". gulfcoastmag.org.
  21. ^ "Leslie Hewitt". www.artforum.com.
  22. ^ Rutland. "Artforum International".
  23. ^ a b c "Perrotin Gallery".
  24. ^ "Leslie Hewitt :: Foundation for Contemporary Arts". www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org. Retrieved 2018-04-19.

External links[edit]