James Cagle

A Final Meditation on Art

February 29, 2020 through January 31, 2021

James Cagle was a Wisconsin-based artist who drew on the formalist language of modernist photography to transform familiar objects and overlooked spaces into elegant compositions. The exhibition A Final Meditation on Art, represents the culmination of Cagle’s creative vision: a quietly powerful photographic installation he conceived while confronting terminal illness. The fifteen photographs in this exhibition range from the purely abstract to the pointedly figurative. Presented together in a tight grid, the images can be observed singularly or in relationship to each other, thereby allowing for visual connections and narrative associations to ricochet off each other.

Cagle, in considering the end of his own life, delighted in the expansiveness of potential meanings this body of work will undoubtedly engender among museum visitors. Imbuing the everyday with an aura of mystery, A Final Meditation on Art serves as Cagle’s final act of generosity: a lyrical eulogy to the creativity and profundity of daily life.

Follow this link to visit an educational microsite on the artist and his work.

Exhibition Sponsors

Major Sponsorship for James Cagle: A Final Meditation on Art has been provided by the Rona B. Malofsky Trust. Additional support has been provided by Dane County Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of the Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation; Jan Marshall Fox; Bill White; and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.