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Painting (MA)

Alex Lewis

Alex was born in Redhill in 1988. He lives and work in London.

He gained his BA (Hons) in Critical Fine Art Practice from the University of Brighton (2011) and Foundation in Art & Design from UCA Epsom (2008). Alex was recently selected to study ceramics on the Kyoto Exchange at Japan’s oldest art school: Kyoto City University of the Arts (2021) and Villa Lena Residency, Tuscany, (2021). His work is featured in collections in New York, London and Somerset. Recent group exhibitions include: Objects (lost) Treasure (found), Underground Flower (2021), Refuse Refuse, Adam The Strand (2021), After Hours II, Bowes Parris Gallery (2021) and Tales from the Market Place, Export Radio (2021), He was awarded the Contemporary Collaborations Art Prize by Robert Youngs Antiques (2020) and partook in Spaceship.Dungeon.Zoo, (London) 2019: a collaborative exhibition at Alvaro Barrington’s Studio. Alex’s work appeared in Art Maze Magazine’s Winter Edition (2021) and he undertook a residency at High House, Norfolk on the estate of Antony Gormley (2018). Two of his works were selected for the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, curated by Grayson Perry RA and one of the paintings was selected for Kathryn Oliver’s Top 6 Picks (RA Sales Director). Solo exhibitions including Bizarre Bazaar: The Subtle Art of Hoarding (2020), David Gitanes, Lima Zulu, (2016) and Drawings, The Royal Academy of Arts (2012).


Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

For me, painting is porous, it absorbs its surroundings: stains, residues, memories, footprints, energy and time.


I make speculative, site-specific installations and mixed-media paintings that collage fabric, metalwork and ceramics. Slow craft processes are interwoven with the ephemera of fast fashion and painting itself. The work takes its cue from alternative modes of display such as bazaars, marketplaces and street montages, materially pregnant with objects and cloth. To walk amongst it is to activate a tableaux vivant and to traverse temporal thresholds. My process is a form of excavation, a slow reveal of things buried in the mud but also a return of clay pots to the soil. Clay, a wet pigmented mud is analogous for paint and my paintings are vessels:

"... the vessel containing the fluid of future time, sluggish, pale and monochrome, to the vessel containing the fluid of past time, agitated and multicoloured by the phenomena of its hours."

I paint on the floor and walk on my paintings, which I think of as rugs. I unpick various woven fabrics such as decorator’s dust sheets and canvas to form tassels and fringes. The genesis for this came while I was working for a painter - rolling up her works like carpets and interlacing the layers of gesso was like weaving with a brush. Beneath the canvas, I place other fabrics, which absorb remains and accretions from above. My paintings therefore generate other paintings and are provisional, fragmented tools as much as resolved objects. No matter how much reverence we ascribe to painting, it will always be reducible to material; the agency of the fabric leads me.


Photography credit Richard Ivey

With special thanks to Bowes Parris Gallery and Adam McGee-Abe.

Medium:

Mixed media installation

Size:

Dimensions variable

Medium:

Oil paint on unwoven canvas

Size:

183 x 150 cm

Photography credit Cat Garcia.

Medium:

Mixed media installation

Size:

Dimensions variable

Photography credit Cat Garcia.

Medium:

Mixed media installation

Size:

Dimensions variable