Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Visual Arts 2010

Leslie Hewitt

A black and white portrait of Leslie Hewitt sitting sideways on a folding chair. A large blackboard with some smudged chalk drawings rests on the wall behind her. She has short black hair and wears a white button up shirt, dark jeans, black ballet flats, and a long dark scarf. She looks towards the camera and rests her chin in one hand.
Photo by Richard Renaldi.
  • Visual Artist
  • Born Saint Albans, NY, 1977
  • Lives in New York, NY
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  • Additional Information
  • lesliehewitt.info

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant contributed greatly to helping me realize this kind of collaborative goal and to actualize an ambitious concept to scale. With the knowledge and now the proper resources, I was able to propose a new collaboration.

- Leslie Hewitt, January 2011

Biography

Leslie Hewitt is a visual artist who works with photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations to address fluid notions of time. She creates "photographed arrangements" that are between sculpture and photography by placing her photographic works between the floor and the wall, or other similar positions. She often photographs quotidian and personal objects to investigate how memory and experience are interconnected.

With support from her 2010 Grants to Artists award, Hewitt collaborated with cinematographer Bradford Young to create Untitled (Level) (2010), a film installation. Untitled (Level) was shown in Hewitt's first solo exhibition in New York, On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance (2010), at The Kitchen and the work was later acquired by The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has since exhibited her work at the High Museum of Art (2010), Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies (2010), Salon 94 (2010), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011), La MaMa Galleria (2011), and Institue of Contemporary Art/Boston (2011). Hewitt's work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Before receiving her 2010 FCA grant, Hewitt's work had been included in solo exhibitions at D'Amelio Terras, New York (2007, 2009) and LA><ART, Los Angeles (2006); and in group exhibitions at Sculpture Center, Long Island City (2005); Project Row Houses, Houston (2005, 2007); The Studio Museum in Harlem (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010); Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp (2007); the Whitney Biennial (2008); and The Museum of Modern Art (2009).

Following her 2010 FCA grant, Hewitt received a Guna S. Mundheim Berlin Prize in the Visual Arts (2012), she was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin (2012), and she was named a United States Artists Fellow (2014). Prior to her 2010 Grants to Artists award, Hewitt received an Art Matters Grant (2008), an Urban Visionaries Award from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (2009), and was a Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Harvard University (2009-2010). Hewitt has held residencies at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2005-2007), The Studio Museum in Harlem (2007-2008), and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2012).

Hewitt received a B.F.A from Cooper Union in 2000 and an M.F.A. from Yale University 2004. She is on faculty at Barnard College in the department of Art History.

Artist Statement

I work with photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations, addressing fluid notions of time. My work oscillates between the illusionary potential of photography and the physical weight of sculpture. In my distinct photographed arrangements, I isolate personal ephemera and the residue of mass culture to consider the fragile nature of quotidian life.

My practice aligns subtle references to revolutionary history, sculpture, architecture, and photography. Informed by research in the optical origins of the camera and seventeenth century still life structures, my work further investigates objects that signify a grander historical context. The nature of these objects can succinctly encapsulate an exchange in terms of culture, knowledge, or value. My compositions rely on the principles of sculpture and shift between the symbolic, poetic, and literal relationships implied by the objects I document. My awareness of the formal and the minimal motivates the personal affect in my images.

- December 2009

Blurry black-bordered polaroid-style still  of a slanted wooden square propped on two stacked books and two DVD boxes leaning against a white wall. Two photographs are balanced on the wooden square and on the floor below is a pile of scattered photographs.
Untitled (Geographic Delay), 2009, digital C-print, 30 7/8" x 36 7/8," shown in the FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.
Dark-toned image of what appears to be stacked wooden crates on concrete.
A Series of Projections, 2010, C-prints, 31" x 41" each, shown in the FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and D'Amelio Terras, New York.
Installation view of a multi-room gallery hosting framed photographs of wooden squares placed beside objects such as photographs on its walls and propped on its floor.
Still from FCA-supported film Untitled (Level), in collaboration with Bradford Young, 2010, dual channel film installation.
Installation view of three side-by-side framed photographs depicting rectangles of collaged images in the center of wooden floor panels, on a blank white wall.
Installation view of FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.
Close-up of a white wall hosting seven framed shadowy black and white photographs depicting a broken teacup, a white square resembling a window, and a dark strip against a white background resembling an ocean horizon.
Installation view of FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.
Two dusky blue hued images, one depicting the silhouette of the back of a person's head in an urban setting and one depicting out-of-focus buildings, suspended in pitch-black space.
Installation view of FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.
Two side-by-side slanted blue-hued images suspended in black space, one close-up and one distant, of a person with their back turned wearing a pageboy cap and facing a white grated wall.
Installation view of FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.
Two dusky blue hued images: one of a shadowy blurred figure walking down a street, and one of a close-up and out-of-focus closed fist.
Installation view of FCA-supported exhibition On Beauty, Objects, and Dissonance at The Kitchen, 2010.