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Sheila Pinkel

Exhibition: Sheila Pinkel, Pinkelgraphs: The Murals and Cyanotypes, 1974–1982
Dates: July 24 – September 25, 2021
Opening: Saturday, July 24, 2021 (noon – 6pm)

Address: 16 Main Street, Ground Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Higher Pictures Generation presents Pinkelgraphs: The Murals and Cyanotypes, 1974–1982. This is Sheila Pinkel’s third solo show with the gallery and the first time this body of work has been exhibited in over thirty years.

The Pinkelgraphs on view are early phenomenological light experiments that Pinkel began after discussions with a physicist spurred her to think of light as a substance with which to paint.

Here Pinkel has distilled her process down to a sheet of photographic paper and a single source of light. In the darkroom she crushes and folds the paper to create a sculpture, then turns on a one-point light source that exposes the paper at different rates depending on the angle of contact. The sculptural form is then flattened and processed and the image appears, also documenting Pinkel’s physicality. The artist describes each session in the darkroom as an adventure and a discovery, with new mysterious images—seemingly latent and embedded in the paper—being pulled out through her hands.

Each of the Pinkelgraphs is a series of paradoxes despite the economy of its making—a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional volume and an abstraction of its own past form—described entirely by light and born of itself. This work is the beginning of a forty-year exploration of the infinite potential for form in nature.

Sheila Pinkel (b. 1941) earned her MFA in 1977 from UCLA and was Professor of Art at Pomona College from 1986 to 2012. Pinkel’s career spans experimental light studies, documentary photography, long-term community-based projects, and public art. She has written extensively for the journals Leonardo, Afterimage, and Heresies, and her work is held in the collections of numerous museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris. Pinkel lives and works in Los Angeles.

For more information please contact Marina Chao at