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Thursday, November 25, 2021


10:00 AM - 9:00 PM, November 25

James Henkel: Object Lessons
Light Work Gallery

Light Work Gallery
316 Waverly Ave., Syracuse University, Syracuse

Light Work presents "Object Lessons" by North Carolina-based artist James Henkel. In his new exhibition, Henkel looks back over 30 years of image-making, following a conceptual and formal thread that ties his work together and seems to stubbornly insist on resurfacing.

Whatever is discarded, broken, and damaged draws Henkel to it. The objects he collects, assembles, or deconstructs are humble, common, and often no more than the scale of the human hand. Both the patina of wear and the handling that was often the source of the object's destruction are clearly present. He presents pieces of ceramic pots, bowls, bricks, toys, combs, and well-worn books in their broken fragments. Completely useless now, they remain a testimony to someone's life. This is what Henkel elevates by photographing these found objects so directly. Tension abounds in his work between the humble and the monumental, between play and decay, between high and low. The artist cross-references grander ideas from art history, painting, and sculpture, while also pointing back to the simpler but profound experience of photographing an ordinary life.


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