Nathan Lewis is a California-born painter and artist who received his MFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy and in St. Petersburg, Russia. Lewis has already opened two museum exhibitions in 2015, at the Housatonic Museum of Art and at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.
In his large format, photorealist works, Lewis is interested in the intersection of virgin light and desecrated space. Decaying warehouses, fallen planks, splayed vectors of white light ignite the space and shift the focus from destruction to renewal. Like many post-Recession artists, Lewis is fascinated by the decay of modern spaces. His narrative is impacted by works like 2008’s Til We Find the Blessed Isles Where Our Friends Are Dwelling , a wall-size piece that riffs off Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware. Lewis’s work reimagines this iconic piece, addressing modern issues of immigrant identity and a “melting-pot” value system of identity. By placing works like this in concert with his more recent series, displays the breadth of the artist’s technical ability.
Another facet of Lewis’s work is the attention he also pays to the reverse of his canvases. What many artists leave naked or treated as an afterthought, every canvas of Lewis’s contains a work within a work: he paints and hand-stencils miniature tableaus on the back of each painting (which he refers to as “logos”) with the work’s relevant information. For collectors, it is like having a private sketch, something that remains largely unseen once on display but whose existence is like a small secret waiting to be revealed.
Lewis’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and universities. His work is in private collections in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, Germany, Russia, and India. His paintings have been on the cover of numerous books and journals, and his work was included in films shown at the Cannes and Sundance Film festivals.
Lewis’s work has been published and reviewed by the New York Times, the New York Press, International Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur, Art in New England, Big Red and Shiny, and the Boston Globe, among others. He has received multiple grants, including one from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts and a URCG grant to research painting in Belgium and France. Lewis has been the recipient of multiple residencies and has given artists talks at institutions on both coasts of the US. Lewis is currently a tenured Associate Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.