New York–based imagemaker and photographer Leslie Hewitt’s practice challenges conventional encounters with and interpretations of the photograph. Her work is political and manifests an interest in the intersection of photography and sculpture, as well as history, time, and context, often through found historical and personal objects. At this special program Hewitt will discuss the evolution of her practice and recent collaborations, including Untitled (Structures), a two-channel film developed around a collection of civil rights photography at Houston’s Menil Collection. The project activates Hewitt’s ongoing interest in restructuring historical narratives through an evolving photographic form.

Hewitt’s photographs rest in sturdy wooden frames that lean against the wall and invite viewers to experience a unique space between photography and sculpture. Her work combines still-life compositions comprised of political, social, and personal materials, which result in multiple histories embedded in sculptural, architectural, and abstract forms. Mundane objects and structures open into complex systems of knowledge. This perceptual slippage is what attracts Hewitt 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, Hewitt draws parallels between the formal appearance of things and their significance to collective history and political consciousness in contemporary art.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.


Leslie Hewitt studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Yale University School of Art, and New York University, where she was a Clark Fellow in the Africana and Visual Culture Studies programs. She was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and received a 2008 Art Matters research grant to the Netherlands. A selection of recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Artists Space, New York; Project Row Houses, Houston; and LA><ART, Los Angeles. Hewitt has held residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, among others.

TOP IMAGE: © Leslie Hewitt