LOS ANGELES, CA.- Edward Cella Art + Architecture
announces Paint Object, featuring new works by Spencer Lewis. In his debut project with ECAA, Lewis presents a body of work that explores painting on a variety of substrates, including canvas, cardboard and even sculptural forms. Lewis paintings, although mostly abstract, contain narrative elements that are often autobiographical. The integration of abstract gestural figures and symbolic elements with text and collage components, drive the hidden tales latent within his work.
Lewis creates hybrid paintings that often utilize multiple media while activating both sides of the canvas. Frequently, Lewis paintings break the boundaries of the two-dimensional canvas through the accumulation of contrasting materials and aestheticized signifiers, creating a complex dialog between the object and its surrounding space.
The material and visual range in Lewis work provokes the viewer to engage visually, spatially and intellectually. His gestural style with its seemingly casual use of materials imbues the work with a rough, edgy quality. This looseness however, is countered by an underlying structure that holds his work together both aesthetically and conceptually. Lewis evolving relationship to these composite objects over time is apparent, as he makes use of extensive studies, both sketches and digital paintings, prior to working on the final canvases. This attention to systemic process contributes an element of intentionality to his practiced spontaneity.
Paint Object will feature two bodies of work: gestural paintings with subtle figurative elements on canvas, and a series of non-traditional object paintings, more akin to collage or sculpture. One of these paintings is a large freestanding piece that uses narrative markers to signify a personal history in the work. Both historical and deeply personal, Lewis willingness to use any medium or history leads to surprising results.
Lewis sites the figurative influences of Kerry James Marshall and Carroll Dunham, while the works owe as much to Franz Kline and Frankenthaler as they do Rauschenberg. The artists layered approach draws from a range of gestural forms such as Graffiti, Guttai, and Arte Povera, and manifests in works that boldly and immediately strike the viewer, while simultaneously unfolding with veiled story lines.
Lewis received his BFA from the Rhodes Island School of Design, and his MFA from UCLA. He has been shown in galleries across Los Angeles and the United States including Hayworth Galery, Arena 1 Gallery, Black Dragon Society Track 16 Gallery. His work has been included in the Hollywood Biennale and the LA Weekly Biennial.