In a world that seems like it is living out a Greek tragedy, Lewis’s work brings to light the common mythologies that replicate in reality. Known for its allegorical references, his work takes on complex literary narratives and historical influence in both form and subject. Whereas Lewis’s previous exhibition at the gallery served as a survey of his work within the last decade, this latest exhibition is dominated by work created in the last few years, and not yet exhibited. For the body of work featured in Mythologies, Fragments, Fiction, a large selection of the pieces have ties to Greek and Roman mythology.
It is this root that largely informs works like Orpheus Mirrored, The Trees Become Her, Pantheon, Facing Phoebus, and Kouros drawing upon historical, cultural, and mythological reference. There are also layered within the works connections to Shakespeare, religious texts, and post-apocalyptic literature as somewhat secondary narratives. One such piece, Ideas Dressed In Light, was influenced by the Mary Magdalene figure in the Isenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald, in which the artist received a research grant to travel to Colmar, France to study the piece in its totality.
Among the large format oil works presented in Mythologies, Fragments, Fiction is Lewis’s latest series: a collection that takes on his more allegorical works but uses drones as a common motif. In The Trees Become Her, Ophelia is in her water — an image etched into our collective psyche — but it is only through further exploration that a small mechanical contraption’s reflection is captured beside her still body. The drone hovers, frozen, casting its last gaze on her demise. This, and others within this series, explores the relationship between perspective and technology: how technological “advances” can at once intimate and distance us from the subjects we explore.
A second vein running through the collection presented in Mythologies, Fragments, Fiction is Lewis’s factory paintings. This series has taken the last five years to fully execute. Informed largely by centuries-old Japanese techniques, Lewis explores drawing and printmaking, providing a foundation for the new series.
It has been nearly 2 years since Lewis last had a solo exhibition at the gallery. His works have been on loan to museums and colleges around the country for exhibition, such as his recent one-man show at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Lewis recently completed a 40-foot mural for Sacred Heart University, which is featured in their newest dorm. Upcoming for Lewis are two successive engagements as a visiting artist and speaker, first at the Sacramento City College and then at the University of Hartford.