Rising Self: My Personal Experience with PROCESSION, The Art of Norman Lewis

My latest article was published in The Dallas Weekly Newspaper this summer regarding my trip to see the Norman Lewis Exhibition: PROCESSION, at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Read more below.

norman lewis

Image Credit:Norman Lewis (1909–1979), Girl with Yellow Hat, 1936, Oil on burlap© Estate of Norman W. Lewis; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NYCourtesy of Leslie Lewis and Christina Lewis Halpern from the Reginald F. Lewis Family Collection

During the summers, I flock to art exhibitions all over the country. It’s rather interesting that there is one museum from my hometown that I never visited before and felt like it was the opportune time to check out, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. Some of the best treasures avail themselves when one is in need of creative inspiration: PROCESSION, The Art of Norman Lewis exposed me to a new way of appreciating blackness, by placing myself in the experience depicted in his work, now on view at the #amoncarter through August 21, 2016. From the museum’s website, “This is the first comprehensive museum exhibition on the work of Norman Lewis.”

Norman Lewis was born (July 23, 1909) in Harlem, New York. He was an African American painter, teacher, and scholar and was an influential figure in the Harlem art community. The artist’ work is rooted in the abstract expressionist movement, and as a socially conscious black activist, he depicted important moments about the civil rights movement in his work. The museum is exhibiting 65 artworks by the artist that details the struggles, triumphs, and life of African-American’s (1930’s – 1970’s). Mentally, I was in artistic heaven while viewing the humbling and engaging exhibition that curtails the experiences of black people in America by one man’s visual conception regarding social issues and migrating to a new awareness in his professional career as an artist. Norman Lewis’ paintings speak to you instantaneously.

Reading about the historical semblance of Norman Lewis’ work and learning that he indeed did not formulate titles for the majority of his works and some are listed as, “Title Unknown” was captivating, to say the least. His artwork made me want to linger and place myself inside each painting about black urban life that exhibited juxtapositions of color as a form of mood using primary, secondary, warm, and cool colors. The lines in his works are representations of movement and form detached from literal motifs. In like manner, all of his paintings have a specific technique representational of the moment; as the observer, you will have the opportunity to follow patterns consisting of shapes, colors, and details inviting you to become involved with the artist in real time.

PROCESSION, The Art of Norman Lewis is an excellent exhibition to view and learn more about experiences regarding African American life. *The Amon Carter Museum will host an Art and Jazz Performance, featuring jazz music that inspired the artist on Thursday, August 18, from 7-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Free tours of this exhibition take place Thursday through Sunday at 3 p.m. and begin at the exhibition entrance on the second floor. No reservations are required and admission is free. Visit the museum’s Research Library to learn more about Norman Lewis.

Learn more about the artist and exhibition online: http://www.cartermuseum.org/exhibitions/procession-the-art-of-norman-lewis

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