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Focus On: Spencer Lewis

Miami— February 1, 2023 — This month, we bring your attention to Los Angeles-based artist Spencer Lewis (Hartford, 1979). This rising artist, known for creating vigorously gestural paintings on cardboard and jute, has been consistently showing his work since 2017. Furthermore, his auction debut in Phillips in June 2021 surpassed the estimate by 202%, undoubtedly a reflection for the market’s appetite for his dynamic large-scale paintings. 

Lewis uses bright, colorful mediums, applied in streaks and lines, smears of paint, and rough strokes that blend in with the earthy tones of the jute, and create crusty patches of color. This process results in rich protruding textures that give the works an object-like quality that transcends the surface. Furthermore, Lewis often explores the three dimensionality of his works by creating freestanding pieces where both sides of the surface are utilized. 

The performative aspect of Lewis’s work is noticeable, he drags his jutes on the ground, throws rocks at his surfaces, and hangs them from fences, among various assaults giving the idea of an impulsive creative process behind them. However, despite the apparent unpredictability of Lewis’ compositions, they are built on structure and methodology that begins with extensive studies, sketches, and digital paintings. 

Spencer Lewis received his BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and his MFA degree from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2008. Lewis’ work has caught commercial attention, securing a long list of gallery solo and group exhibitions in cities around the world, including Brussels, East Hampton, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, St. Moritz, Tokyo, and Vienna among others.

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Photos: Portrait of Spencer Lewis, courtesy of the artist.