Leslie Hewitt Biography
Leslie Hewitt’s artistic practice activates the interstices between photography and sculpture, traditional still life and postminimal assemblage, the personal and the political. Black literature and pop culture ephemera play a substantial role in her formal and allusive constructs, and her use of studio and gallery floors to ground her compositions and display the finished works themselves prompts total shifts in spatial and semantic perspective.
Hewitt was born in 1977 in Queens. She earned a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union and an M.F.A. from Yale University. Her first solo show, Make It Plain, was held at LAXART in Los Angeles in 2006 and she participated in the Whitney Biennial in 2008. In 2009–10, Hewitt was the Mildred Londa Weisman fellow at Harvard University, where she investigated the origins of the camera obscura and its possibilities in the creation of still lifes. In 2010 and 2012, she collaborated with experimental cinematographer Bradford Young on films that interrogate the phenomena of location and dislocation during the Great Migration and civil rights movement in the twentieth century; these were shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Des Moines Art Center. Her eponymous 2013 solo show at Sikkema Jenkins in New York combined distinct series of photographs with two massive sculptural interventions echoing the gallery’s architectural dimensions. In 2015, Hewitt was named the Mentor in the Arts in Cornell University, where she worked closely with art students and lectured on still life. In 2018, she mounted solo shows at Perrotin, which now represents her. A newly commissioned body of sculptural and sonic work will be presented at Dia Bridgehampton and Dia Chelsea in 2022–23.
Hewitt’s work is represented by numerous public institutions across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.