Friday, January 30, 2015

{Five for Friday} 5 Paintings by Norman Lewis

I realize I've been talking a bit about how crazy busy I've been trying to finish my dissertation but I haven't mentioned much else about it. So in case you're wondering, here's a very brief spiel (so boiled down it might not make much sense ...):

My work focuses on the re-writing/(re)membering of African American artist Norman Lewis into the mainstream accounts of Abstract Expressionism. Scholarship on Lewis has been limited because art historians have struggled to fit his art into a particular genre. His paintings were considered not “white” enough to be part of the Abstract Expressionist canon and often lacked “black” enough subject matter to be a considered a significant part of Black art. The task to “(re)member” is thus twofold: the first is to establish the significance of Norman Lewis by arguing that his contribution to both the history of African American art and Abstract Expressionism earned him a rightful spot amongst the popularly canonized artists (to re-member the canon); the second is to present the consequences Lewis’ inclusion have on future studies of Abstract Expressionism and the history of African American art (to remember a different history). 

Bored yet?

Well, here are five of Lewis' work for you to admire instead ...

Phantasy II, 1946
Ring Around the Rosie, 1948
Untitled, 1957
New Moon, 1959
Green Envy, 1975


Anonymous said...

I am not bored at all! I am just wondering if anyone takes into account that some people (like me) appreciate art, but have NO idea what method was used or what genre it will be classified in. I love what I love and I buy what I love (and can afford). I am just wondering why awesomeness needs to be further classified. . . (Oh, I have a big problem with labels though! lol!) :-)

Mindy Medler said...

thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment! i understand the loathe of labels; i tend to feel the same way. but this dissertation is more or less a recovery project to return/reclaim Lewis his place in an otherwise white-dominated history of art!

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