Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Norman Lewis

Norman Lewis,  an Abstract Expressionist painter and teacher, was born in 1909 in Harlem to Caribbean immigrant parents.

Too Much Aspiration

 

As an artist, Lewis diverged from his native Harlem community of artists in choosing abstraction over representation as his mode of expression.

Jazz Club

 

Lewis studied with sculptor Augusta Savage from 1933 to 1935, at which time he also took art courses at Columbia University.

Baule Mask

 

Those years brought about fruitful encounters with many artists and writers. Lewis joined the 306 group, a salon of artists and writers who met in Harlem and aimed to promote and support the careers of emerging African American artists.

Girl With Yellow Hat

 

In 1935, with members of the 306 group, he became a founding member of the Harlem Artists Guild.

Street Music

 

Lewis moved away from creating social  realism works in the early 1940s because he found the style was not effective to counter racism.

Street Scene

 

Abstraction proved an important means to both artistic freedom and personal discovery, a strategy to distance himself from racial artistic language, as well as the stereotypes of his time.

Cantata

 

Lewis said he struggled to express social conflict in his art, but in his later years, focused on the inherently aesthetic. “The goal of the artist must be aesthetic development,” he told art historian Kellie Jones, “and in a universal sense, to make in his own way some contribution to culture.”

March on Washington

 

In his last 20 years, Lewis created and developed his very own unique blending of abstraction and figuration. His rhythmic lines and shapes now hinted at figures moving through his layers of colors. 

Green Mist

 

More of Norman Lewis‘s timely artwork can be found at https://www.wikiart.org/en/norman-lewis and  http://www.artnet.com/artists/norman-lewis/.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Norman Lewis

  1. Thank you so much. I don’t want to be ignorant of other forms of art. Not everyone paints landscapes or makes glass weights. And if I can understand another’s artist’s needs and points of view, I can share what I learn with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! I did alot of reading about him, too. And now that I understand what he was trying to share through his abstract work, I can almost see “into” the work. It’s kind of exciting!

    Like

  3. Thank you for putting his work out there. These images are wonderful, and they are new to me.

    Like

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