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Crepuscule (for Massenet)

James Cagle


archival digital pigment print

12" x 18"

In Crepuscle (for Massenet), Cagle played with the intersection of light, form, and flatness to create a delicate photograph with slight shifts in color and tone. Initially appearing as purely abstract, the work actually shows a piece of white paper, folded vertically to stand upright atop a table. Cagle’s careful attention to the relationship between light and shadow imbues the work, in his words, “with nuance and revelation.” Indeed, with prolonged observation, the photograph’s tonal variations evolve subtly as the day progresses. In this sense, Crepuscule (Massenet) calls attention to the fundamental condition or materiality of light—both in the act of photographing and in the act of looking. The photograph’s title further reinforces notions of light. Crepuscule, which is French for “twilight,” is also the name of an orchestral song by Massenet, the artist’s favorite composer. The song expresses, Musically, what twilight is like—the in -between state of light and darkness.


Gift of the artist