Sheila Pinkel, OFFSCREEN
Higher Pictures Generation presents Sheila Pinkel, Pinkelgraphs, 1974–1982 by at
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
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 fortyyear
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 Museum of Modern Art, the
Morgan Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 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