Artist Spotlight: Martin Lewis

Every now and then you just have to purge.

This afternoon – in a mild attempt at procrastination – I started the task of editing and deleting images on my phone (amazing how they accumulate). While deleting, I spotted a picture I saved sometime over Summer 2012, while interning in the sweltering hot Northern Neck of Virginia at Stratford Hall. The picture was from a newspaper and detailed a 1930 print by Martin Lewis titled Shadow Dance which had recently sold in New York at an artist-record price of $50,400.

The image shows flappers emerging from a city subway at dusk, ready to face the night’s adventures. The print captured my imagination while sweating out the summer inventorying a stable and coach house. The energy in the image is apparent, with the bright young things eager to explore and have a good time.

Martin Lewis (1881-1962)
Shadow Dance, 1930.
Drypoint and sandpaper.

An Australian immigrant, Martin Lewis spent much of his life in the United States in major cities such as San Francisco and New York, working with a variety of paper media. Lewis experimented with processes such as etching, aquatint, engraving, and drypoint with his works. His subject matter typically featured busy city street scenes, such as Shadow Dance. Later in life he focused on rural, country scenes after moving to Connecticut. The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, featured the artist in an exhibit which ran from October 2, 2011 – February 26, 2012. I’m sorry to have missed the exhibit, but here’s a link to its online presence.

(I decided not to delete the picture from my phone.)

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