Yearlong exhibition of new work by Leslie Hewitt opens at Dia Bridgehampton this June

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Yearlong exhibition of new work by Leslie Hewitt opens at Dia Bridgehampton this June
Leslie Hewitt, installation view, Dia Bridgehampton, New York, 2022. Photo: Don Stahl.

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY.- Dia presents a new body of work by Leslie Hewitt conceived for Dia Bridgehampton. The exhibition opened on June 24, 2022, and will be on view through June 5, 2023. Exploring ideas of light, sound, and inertia, Hewitt has realized an array of  low-profile sculptures that are laterally distributed within and outside the gallery, as well as a diagrammatic score composed in collaboration with artist Jamal Cyrus. Hewitt and Cyrus invited artists Rashida Bumbray, Jason Moran, and Immanuel Wilkins to interpret the score at venues in New York City and on the East End of Long Island throughout the yearlong run of the show. The exhibition’s expansive sensorium puts forth an alternative corporeal, spatial, and sonic mapping of the site.   

“These new works by Hewitt extend Dia Bridgehampton’s long-standing engagement with the histories of its immediate site and surrounding geographies,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “With remarkable restraint, Hewitt simultaneously evokes the vastness of the landscape as well as the ways in which histories are made through the ebb and flow of day-to-day life over time.”   

Following scholar Tiffany Lethabo King’s theorization of shoals as a locus of resistance to settlers’ conquest and worldview, Hewitt directs us to where land and sea have met and re-formed each other across epochs and generations.   

Inside the gallery at Dia Bridgehampton, three bronze sculptures reference bodies of water on the East End, namely, the Mecox, Peconic, and Shinnecock bays, in relation to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. A fourth sculpture is installed on the grounds of Dia Bridgehampton. It consists of a locally sourced boulder—formed similarly to the bays, by the interplay of sand and water over epochs—upon which lies a matte bronze silhouette pointing towards the sky. As a counterpoint to the sculptures is a monitor displaying the score conceptualized by Hewitt and Cyrus in a newly developed still-life form. A wooden tambourine sculpture is juxtaposed to an iridescent shell, while metadata scrolls next to them, and sound emanates. The artists thus see the indeterminate logic of Fluxus notations as a way to explore intersections of experimental music, notions of the Black radical tradition and the elemental sounds, patterns, and breaks of the ocean as it meets the shore. 

“In renovating Dia Bridgehampton for the purpose of hosting art, Dan Flavin memorialized its previous functions as a firehouse and then a Baptist church,” said Matilde Guidelli-Guidi, exhibition curator. “The material memory of the building is an invitation to history that Hewitt takes on in this new body of work, acknowledging the land on which it rests and tuning our senses to silenced pasts and the magnitude of geological formations.”

Dia’s permanent installation nine sculptures in fluorescent light created by Dan Flavin between 1963 and 1981 also are on view on the second floor of Dia Bridgehampton. 

Leslie Hewitt is curated by Matilde Guidelli-Guidi.

Leslie Hewitt is an artist living in Harlem, New York and Houston, Texas. Hewitt has held residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Project Row Houses, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Konstepidemin in Göteborg, Sweden and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany amongst others. Solo presentations of her work have been held at Artists Space, New York (2007);LA>

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