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Blue Crevice, Rim and Chance Markings

James Cagle


archival digital pigment print

12" x 18"

In contrast to documentary, narrative, or event-based photography, Cagle’s interests leaned towards formalism, an artistic approach that prioritizes the inherent visual qualities of an artwork rather than any exploration of subject matter. In keeping with a formalist’s vision, Cagle focused on such elements as light and shadow, the flatness of the picture plane, surface textures and colors, and composition.

Cagle’s highly tuned sensitivity to composition is evidenced by our inability to identify the object in the image—and outcome he achieved by zooming in on the object so as to crop out all extraneous content. Scratched lines across a weathered surface, a curious clipped edge, and the gradual modulation of color collide together in this photograph to create an image of abstraction.


Gift of the artist