Norman Lewis1960/1964

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

With its subtle contrasts between opaque and nearly transparent areas of paint and its “allover” composition, this work epitomizes Lewis’s elegant response to Abstract Expressionism. The painting tells no explicit story, but the clusters of marks can be read as small figures that may hint at questions about individuals, groups, and the relationships between them. This interpretation would be in keeping with Lewis’s career and approach to art: in the 1930s he was part of Harlem’s 306 Group, which encouraged emerging African American artists, and in 1963 he helped found Spiral, an artists’ discussion group dedicated to the civil rights movement.

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  • Title: Untitled
  • Creator: Norman Lewis
  • Date Created: 1960/1964
  • Physical Dimensions: 64 x 49 in
  • Provenance: About 1964, the artist. Judge and Mrs. Edward R. Dudley, N. Y. October 7, 2008, African-American Fine Art Sale #2156, Swann Galleries, N.Y., lot 33, to the MFA.
  • Subject Keywords: African American Artist
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection and Emily L. Ainsley Fund. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. All Rights Reserved.
  • External Link: MFA Website Entry
  • Medium: Oil on canvas