Stephen Lewis, October 2020
The October Art Exhibition, “Stars and Bars: A Survey of Four Artists with Ties to Washington DC” featuring John Figura, William Hill, Stephen Lewis, Tim Vermeulen opens on October 3, 5-7 PM.
Green Kill 2020 October Art Exhibition, “Stars and Bars: A Survey of Four Artists with Ties to Washington DC” featuring John Figura, William Hill, Stephen Lewis,and Tim Vermeulen will be on display from Saturday October 3 to Saturday, October 26, 2020 with an opening party on Saturday, October 3, 2020 from 5-7 PM.
New Normal health concerns are a primary. The customary Green Kill opening of beverages with finger foods will be covered for protection. If you wish to come on opening day, please understand that 10 people are permitted in the gallery at one time, that all attendees must were face masks, and we will us a “Non-Contact Infrared Digital Thermometer” and “Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Level Monitor” for screening. There were be outside seating for your convenience. Green Kill is equipped with a heat pump so the air is constantly refreshed and the space is, as always, sanitized.
Stephen Lewis, “Regret,” 2020, Oil on canvas, 6x5 ft
Stephen Lewis is a painter and printmaker who is work is primarily concerned with art of observation of both the sociopolitical and natural world. In that sense, his work is unique in that it inhabits two distinct genres; naturalism and political art, but the artist sees his practice as incorporating the same principals in the creation of both bodies of work -they are tied together by the artists unique ability to articulate realities that only become obvious thru monastic observation and study.
“The message that American pop culture is polluting the world isn’t anything new. But, Lewis sends it in such an over the top manner that the viewer gets pulled into the imagery. How a person who looks as serene and contemplative as Lewis does in his self-portrait can channel so much anger into his paintings is anyone’s guess. But it isn’t just the anger that makes his work compelling it’s the skill with which he translates it into art”
Ferdinand postman, the Washington post
While in Washington, dc he was one of the co-directors of signal66 a 3000 sq. ft. gallery and exhibition space that was widely accepted as the dominate gallery in the city during its tenure.
His work has been reviewed or featured in diverse publications including; the Washington post, art news, timeout, high times, casa vogue, and the New Yorker.
He currently resides in Port Ewen NY with his wife and daughter and is the co-publisher of the art / satirical print newspaper” The Quiet American”. He currently records under the moniker “the royal wylds” and is attempting to re invigorate plein aire painting in a way that doesn’t suck.
Stephen Lewis Exhibition
“Stars and Bars: A Survey of Four Artists with Ties to Washington DC”
Washington, D.C. in many ways is a city without an identity. A large portion of its population is transient, moving in and out with the tide of presidential cycles and affecting the cultural tenor of the city. To quote John F. Kennedy, “…it is a city of southern efficiency and Northern charm.” Because of its transient population and ever-changing political climate, as Kennedy points out, the city lacks the identity of either a northern or southern city and is driven by shifting philosophies. The main industry in Washington is that of ideas.
Historically, the city’s most promising art movement was the “Washington Color School” which boasted members such as Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, Sam Gilliam, Leon Berkowitz, and Tom Downing, and was championed by non-objective backers of “flat” painting such as Clement Greenburg. The “Color Field” movement differed from the other flat art movement, abstract expressionism, in that it was more about optics and less about mark making. Many of the paintings were stained onto raw canvas using the newly developed “magna” paint, which effectively dissolved the brush stroke entirely. These painters developed an almost atmospheric perspective more related to landscape painting than the flat quality of the paintings’ surface would belie.
If the New York School responded to the bustle of the city and its energy for inspiration, surely the painters in Washington responded more to a constant march of ideas, focusing the work on an inward dialog forced upon them from an outside maelstrom of political ideologies.
The artists in this show continue in that tradition of philosophical yearning, with the lines erased over time between abstraction and narration, leaving only a desire to find meaning, whether through narrative means or abstract. How else do we explain what we’ve become?
Stephen Lewis, September 2020