|All good things must come to end.|
The press had been phenomenal.
New York Times featured three articles on including Black Artists and the March into the Museum and Four Rewarding Shows in Philadelphia. CBS Sunday News aired a segment with curator Ruth Fine.
Norman Lewis was not a man listed in art history textbooks. He wasn't mentioned one lick.
PAFA gave him a much lauded due.
|Untitled Self Portrait, 1940s.|
Procession was divided into six sections: In the City: Life/Looking at Art, Ritual, Visual Sound, Rhythm of Nature, Civil Rights, and Summation. Different pastel hued walls indicated their division, in turn showcasing Lewis's breadth of experimentation going beyond traditional practice.
|Top: Boule Mask, pastel on sandpaper, 1935. Ivory Coast Boule Mask, pastel on paper, 1935.|
Bottom: Don Mask, pastel on sandpaper, 1935. Bobin (bobbin) Loom, Boule, pastel on paper, 1935.
|Girl with Yellow Hat, oil on burlap, 1936.|
Two Women Reading discusses literacy. Reading is one of the most powerful tools one can have-- it's elemental and can give anyone the potential to rise above. Language opens doors. In Lewis's rather evocative painting, the brown skinned woman's body is close, her head lowered, focused into the book whereas the red suited lady points at a word, likely instructing pronunciation.
|Two Women Reading, oil on canvas, 1940.|
|Some of Lewis's personal objects-- flyers and letters from renowned Chelsea galleries.|
|Title Unknown (Jazz Club), oil and sand on canvas, 1945.|
|Roller Coaster, opaque watercolor, ink, and crayon on board, 1946.|
|Title Unknown, oil on canvas, 1947.|
|Five Phases, oil on canvas, 1949.|
|Too Much Aspiration, opaque watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper, 1947.|
|Cantata, oil on canvas, 1948 (Dayton Art Institute museum purchase).|
|Unknown Title, oil and metallic on canvas, 1953.|
|Winter Branches #5, ink on paper, 1954.|
|close up one.|
|close up two.|
|Masquerade, oil on canvas, 1967.|
|Carnivale II, oil on canvas, 1962.|
|Personal objects. Throughout the exhibit, books, brochures, sketchbooks, letters, and postcards were protected in display cases.|
|Lewis discussing the plight of being an abstract artist at a time where black artists weren't seen as such.|
Turbulent, harsh times caused rift in Lewis's artistic career, the racial barriers not allowing him a true descent into deserved praise and acclaim. Intrigued gallery patrons would be thrilled by the paintings, but when discovering that a black artist's paintbrush defined mystic shapes and sophisticated design, they often turned away disgusted, repulsed, seemingly hoodwinked by their own individual tastes. This was heartbreaking for Lewis to witness. Nonetheless, he continued painting, a triumph in the world threatening to discourage and disillusion him.
|Title Unknown (March on Washington), oil on fiberboard, 1965.|
|Alabama, oil on canvas, 1960.|
|Untitled (Ku Klux Klan), oil on canvas, 1960.|
|The Banjo Lesson, oil on canvas, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1893.|
|Seachange, oil on canvas, 1975.|
And I, the viewer, an up-and-coming artist, art lover, and writer, comply to Lewis and the others before and after him.