Arts & Culture
In and out of place at Artpace IAIR 12.2
Published: July 18, 2012
Leslie Hewitt's installation, Where Paths Meet, Turn Away, Then Align Again, is a response to the Edmund Carpenter and Adelaide de Menil collection of Civil Rights era photographs in Houston. On a wall are two black and white photographs, intense closeups of the same fragment of a historic photograph taken by Hewitt with a macro lens. Filling the room are an assortment of white sculptures, each made from a similar rectangle of thin sheet steel. A subtle, almost unnoticed architectural intervention lines one wall. *Hewitt mentions that on studying the de Menil archive, which contains photographs from the 1940s to the early 1980s, she confirmed that the movement received wide spread support from artists and other creatives, who were politically active in many concerns such as the anti-war movement of the 1960s. Referencing that decade, Hewitt has pointed to Minimalism. Focusing on an artistic, rather than social, history of the period, Hewitt made a series of simple forms with the help of a local metal shop. Painted white, they echo not a racial divide, but the white walls and diffused light of the room, and hold the daylight hours in ever shifting shadows. The bends range from a bold 90 degrees to a delicate upturning of a corner; the thin metal, set on edge, arches as if bending with the lightness of paper. Memories of a time past, the forms sit on the floor like origami birds, delicate, dutifully filling the space, as if waiting.
* This section has been changed to more accurately reflect the artist's intention. It previously read: "Hewitt mentions that on studying the Civil Rights era (which, to her understanding, began in the 1940s and continued to the beginning of the 1980s) she discovered that many of the artists who were sympathetic to its aims were minimalists."
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