Sydell Lewis (LASER presentation)


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Sydell Lewis LASER presentation

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  • Untill 1992 I participated in Biomedical research as a mass spectrometrist. Mass spectrometry an analytical branch of chemistry Although I had always been involved in some form of art In 1992 I made a decision to leave science and become a full time practicing artist .
  • I am apparently not the only one who got it upside down .In 1965 the National Gallery in London hung “Long Grass and Butterflies upside down for about a year. Looks likes overhanging trees to me and a path below
  • But its really long grass and a path at the ame level.
  • More recently in 2008 This headline from the UK’s Daily Telegraph states “ Two paintings by Mark Rothko displayed at a major gallery may have been hung the wrong way round by curators. The gallery it turns out is the Tate Modern . These Painting ” are from the Maroon on Black series Richard Dorment art critic for the Daily Telegraph thought it elemental that the work is hung according to the signature.
  • However the story about the rotating paintings began in Aix-en Provence in 2005. I went to see Cezannes studio but I was bowled over by the Victor Vasarely Foundation.
  • Vasarely , was the father of OP art , meaning optical art designed this museum and created all the work in the museum to fit the enormous spaces. Each room is about a different phase of his theories about art.
  • What impressed me and influenced me were his statements about optics, illusions and kinetics. In essence where there is energetically aggressive imagery the eye is kinetically swept across the work.
  • “ Airy” is the first painting I did when I got home from Aix. All the elements I pointed out earlier, of hard edge, flowing or organic forms, patterns and transparencies are present but now they are highly energized. My normal mode of working is to turn my work upside down to get a fresh view.
  • I stated to notice that the work look looked somewhat different upside down
  • When I turned it on its side it took on a landscape quality
  • And the upside down of that was different as well. Subtle but different and just as interesting.
  • I was workig on the concept of air and air movement . The second in this series was “ Breeze ” 36x36, I had a similar experienc
  • In the next series of work my mind set was changed. I was now conscious of looking at all positions a new perspective and wanted to make each position count. That is hard to do. I decided to ad a heavy texture elecment to my next series. I focused on a theme of water.
  • The second part of the title is “ Paintings that Rotate”. I think that unless we are able to see an abstract work fully, that is from more than one vantage point we can’t fully understand the worl. So I mount appropriate pieces on rotation devices to facilitate that. I analogize this to how we look at sculpture. .we walk around the work to fully understand it as in the Maillol figure add the David Smith abstract work
  • Since touching a work of art in our society is a big NONO I was concerned that the audience would be afraid to touch the paintings so I created a performace piece using a comic lyric device to get the audience to do so I shared the exhibition with Pat Oyama a ceramic artist since I was very shy about doing this. I decided to create a costume using a painted images and one of her wonderful masks. Then it wouldn’t really be me do doing this performance .
  • I did a series of paintings Geometric paintings which I called “Still Lifes in Flux”. Some of th pieces were rectangles but this one was a square and aminable to rotation.
  • a primal relation piece
  • Sydell Lewis (LASER presentation)

    1. 1. “Double Feature”, acrylic on canvas, 36”x48”
    2. 2. “November Expansion” 36”x36” acrylic on canvas