Lewis Lanza Rudolph: A Retrospective
Lewis Lanza Rudolph was a lifelong resident of Red Bank, New Jersey. Rudolph was a highly respected and sophisticated artist exhibiting his work in both New Jersey and New York galleries in the late 1970’s through the 1980’s. He received a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in 1983. “When I showed Rudolph’s works in a 1987 one person show, I felt he was one of the best abstract painters I had seen in a long time,” according to Ellen Sragow, of the Sragow Gallery NYC.
In the early 1990’s Rudolph withdrew from the art scene and into his studio. He died in 2012 leaving a lifetime of artwork behind.
“I paint two paintings, one for myself and one for the audience. The painting for the audience is abstract. The painting for myself is a fantasy world, a surrealistic vision.”
In addition to his one person exhibitions, he was in several group shows including; the Annual Juried Exhibition at the Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ in 1977; in 1978 at the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ; in 1981 at Tweed Art Group, Plainfield, NJ; in 1983 at City Without Walls, Newark, NJ; and in 1983 at The Soho Art Center.
Rudolph continued to show his work in the metropolitan area, including Sragow Gallery and the Beitzel Gallery in New York City. Rudolph’s art was in the 1987 exhibition “New Abstraction” at the Sragow Gallery NYC. But he didn’t stop painting. His paintings span five decades. From May 20 – September 4, 2016, the Monmouth Museum presented an exhibition comprising 70 of Rudolph’s Paintings from the 1970s-2012: “—a testimony to a wonderful artist that is long overdue,” said Avis Anderson, Executive Director at Monmouth Museum.
Franc Palaia, an artist friend of Rudolph describes his work perfectly, “He seemed to have a natural instinct of how to make a perfect oil painting with complex compositions of stylish and confident brushstrokes, utilizing a multitude of rich visual textures, luscious color, animated shapes and forms that dance together on the picture plane, balanced and completely pleasing to the trained and untrained eye.”