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James Cagle: A Final Meditation on Art

February 29, 2020 – January 31, 2021

James Cagle, Aurora, 2019. Archival pigment print, 6 x 5 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
James Cagle, Aurora, 2019. Archival pigment print, 6 x 5 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
overview

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.

Artwork

Aurora. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Aurora

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Aurora.
Waltz. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Waltz

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Waltz.
Film. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Film

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Film.
Coda. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Coda

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Coda.
Equinox. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Equinox

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Equinox.
Nascence. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Nascence

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Nascence.
Transposition. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Transposition

2019

James Cagle

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Tracer. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Tracer

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Tracer.
White. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

White

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about White.
Touch. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Touch

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Touch.
Talisman. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Talisman

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Talisman.
Premonition. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Premonition

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Premonition.
Zoology. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Zoology

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Zoology.
Crepusule. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Crepusule

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Crepusule.
Eyes. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2019. Medium: archival pigment print.

Eyes

2019

James Cagle

Learn more about Eyes.
Crepuscule (for Massenet). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2012. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Crepuscule (for Massenet)

2012

James Cagle

Learn more about Crepuscule (for Massenet).
Stairway Walls and Ceiling in Soft Light. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2016. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Stairway Walls and Ceiling in Soft Light

2016

James Cagle

Learn more about Stairway Walls and Ceiling in Soft Light.
Green Painting with Afternoon Shadows. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2016. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Green Painting with Afternoon Shadows

2016

James Cagle

Learn more about Green Painting with Afternoon Shadows.
Domestic Image (Kleenex). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2015. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Domestic Image (Kleenex)

2015

James Cagle

Learn more about Domestic Image (Kleenex).
1895. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2015. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

1895

2015

James Cagle

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Industrial Still Life (Denderah). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2011. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Industrial Still Life (Denderah)

2011

James Cagle

Learn more about Industrial Still Life (Denderah).
Industrial Still Life (separated tube). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2011. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Industrial Still Life (separated tube)

2011

James Cagle

Learn more about Industrial Still Life (separated tube).
Domestic Image (Jar with Edge). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2015. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Domestic Image (Jar with Edge)

2015

James Cagle

Learn more about Domestic Image (Jar with Edge).
Open Cylinder Color Version. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2015. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Open Cylinder Color Version

2015

James Cagle

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Blue Crevice, Rim and Chance Markings. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2016. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Blue Crevice, Rim and Chance Markings

2016

James Cagle

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Vacated Mall, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Artist: James Cagle. Date: c. 2008. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Vacated Mall, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

c. 2008

James Cagle

Learn more about Vacated Mall, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Discarded Amazon Invoice (Louise Lawler). Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2016. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Discarded Amazon Invoice (Louise Lawler)

2016

James Cagle

Learn more about Discarded Amazon Invoice (Louise Lawler).
Quarry Rock Face, Door County, Wisconsin. Artist: James Cagle. Date: 2015. Medium: archival digital pigment print.

Quarry Rock Face, Door County, Wisconsin

2015

James Cagle

Learn more about Quarry Rock Face, Door County, Wisconsin.
Semblance. Artist: James Cagle. Medium: archival pigment print.

Semblance

James Cagle

Learn more about Semblance.

James, Cagle, Domestic Image (Diamond), 2015. Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 inches (20 x 26 inches). Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of the artist.
James, Cagle, Domestic Image (Diamond), 2015. Archival pigment print, 12 x 18 inches (20 x 26 inches). Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of the artist.
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.