Norman Wilfred Lewis, ‘Orpheus’, 1953, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

About Norman Wilfred Lewis

Born in Harlem and working within New York City’s downtown art scene, Norman Wilfred Lewis first began painting in a figural style grounded in social realism, focusing on bread lines, police brutality, and the struggles of black Americans. Lewis transitioned to a more abstract style of art during the 1940s and 1950s, continuing to focus on social inequalities but growing increasingly interested in personal expression rather than representation. Lewis’s shift to abstraction was driven in part by his realization that reproducing or mirroring social conditions did not adequately reflect his goals as an artist. His work Evening Rendezvous, for example, addresses political activism and humanitarian concerns through hazy visuals inspired by clandestine Ku Klux Klan gatherings.

American, 1909-1979, New York, New York, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

2016
New York,
Norman Lewis: A Selection of Paintings and Drawings
2009
New York, NY, United States,
Norman Lewis: Abstract Expressionist Drawings, 1945-1978
2009
New York, NY, United States,
Norman Lewis: PULSE, A Centennial Exhibition
1999
New York, NY, United States,
Norman Lewis: Intuitive Markings: Works on Paper, 1945-1975

Group Shows

2014
New York, NY, United States,
RISING UP/UPRISING: Twentieth Century African American Art
2014
New York, NY, United States,
Beyond the Spectrum: Abstraction in African American Art, 1950-1975
2013
New York, NY, United States,
Abstract Expressionism / In Context: Seymour Lipton
2012
New York, NY, United States,
INsite/INchelsea: The Inaugural Exhibition
2011
New York, NY, United States,
Abstract Expressionism: Reloading the Canon
2011
New York, NY, United States,
Evolution in Action
2010
New York, NY, United States,
Unconscious Unbound: Surrealism in America
2009
New York, NY, United States,
Abstract Expressionism: Further Evidence (Part One: Painting)
2008
New York, NY, United States,
African American Art: 200 Years
View Artist's CV