Nate Lewis

Latent Tapestries

March 1 – May 31, 2020

Listen to the score and scroll down to see more exhibition images.

 

Click to zoom in for detail.

Fridman Gallery is honored to present the first solo exhibition in New York by Nate Lewis.

 

Latent Tapestries brings together Lewis’ application of medical diagnostics and its visual language, exploration of granularity of photographic images and paper, responses to the current political landscape, and appreciation of the critical role of sound and music, specifically jazz, as conduits for shared histories and futures.

Navigating Through Time

2020

Two-channel video installation with sound

4:07 minutes

Lewis’ first video work combines his interest in movement and sports, music, and American history. The left channel portrays a shadowboxer in forward motion, and the right channel mirrors the same video in reverse. The score layers sounds of bells, an excerpt from one of Chopin’s Nocturnes, crowd noise from legendary boxer Jack Johnson’s 1910 "fight of the century", and William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony (1930), the first symphony written by an African American and performed by an orchestra. In this piece, Lewis considers the multitude of meanings that boxing provokes in American culture — as a sport, it is also a means of survival, defense, and resilience, as well as a pillar of community recreation. As a whole, Navigating Through Time is a metaphor for the complex navigation of African American life throughout history.

Signaling XXII

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

60" h x 41"w

Signaling 

The textures and patterns in this series draw from cellular tissue, but even more — from musical rhythms and sound. While the work obscures facial recognition, Lewis’ intention is to dig deep beneath the surface to create a thorough investigation of individual and historical narratives.

Signaling XXIII 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

28" h x 41"w

"Output imagery of medical diagnostics is a unique language, one of colors and patterns — discerning different areas of an image, measuring the density of various elements by the tones of blacks, grays, and whites. Subtle distinctions in shapes, shifts, clarities, rhythms, and textures are the most critical and accurate tool that indicates the condition of the patient and determines whether further intervention is needed. These nuanced ways of looking and listening profoundly influenced how I see, think, and understand the world."

Signaling XXIV 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

55" h x 36"w

Signaling XXV 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

40" h x 26"w

Signaling XXVI 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

34" h x 26"w

Signaling XXVIII 

2020 

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

27" h x 27"w

Signaling XXVII 

2020)

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

26" h x 21"w

“Interacting with images is an act of care. I explore and question the history of the subject, mirroring the abilities of diagnostic lenses in my own language of seeing and listening. The textures and patterns I create resonate with the rhythms and sounds I listen to.”

Signaling XXIX 

2020 

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

44" h x 42"w

Signaling XXX 

2020 

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

40" h x 26"w

Signaling XXXI 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

70" h x 36"w

Probing the Land

 

To make the series Probing the Land, Lewis photographed American monuments, including the controversial equestrian statues of Confederate officers lining Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.

 

Lewis carves into the image of the monument, destabilizes the bronze, creating a soft anatomy within, rendering the figure of the horse and the rider active, penetrable and vulnerable. The works attempt to capture the public’s passion and dialogue about the statues.

Probing the Land IV 

2020 

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

44" h x 62"w

Probing the Land V 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

44" h x 62"w

“Carving into images of the monuments, I destabilize the bronze, creating a soft anatomy within, and render the figures of the horse and the rider active, penetrable, porous and vulnerable. I think my sensibilities in caring for people and assessing patterns and rhythms from a diagnostic point of view leads to my wanting to capture the different energies and feelings towards these monuments: those who want them removed, those who revere them, those who think they should stay as a point to learn from our faults in history, as well as those who think they don't matter. In addition, being in a mixed race family I have conversations with relatives whose views I oppose, I listen to them, and want to know how to navigate these conversations in a productive manner.”

Probing the Land VI 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

44" h x 62"w

Probing the Land VII 

2020

Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, graphite, frottage

70" h x 36"w

this is your heart on a prelude

2013

Mixed media collage

8.5" h x 12.5" w

(Not for sale)

 

One of Lewis’ earliest works, this is your heart on a prelude is a collage made using strips of electrocardiograms of Lewis’ patients, layered over a musical score and imagery from medical textbooks.

Order the Latent Tapestries catalog

Fridman Gallery is pleased to publish Latent Tapestries on the occasion of Nate Lewis' first solo exhibition in New York. Featuring full color plates and an introductory essay by cultural anthropologist and curator Niama Safia Sandy. 

Nate Lewis (b. 1985, Beaver Falls, PA) explores history through patterns, textures, and rhythm, creating meditations of celebration and lamentations. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from VCU, and practiced critical-care nursing in DC-area hospitals for nine years. Lewis’ first artistic pursuit was playing the violin in 2008, followed by drawing in 2010. Since 2017 he has lived and worked in New York City. Lewis’ work has been exhibited at the California African American Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Yale Center for British Art; 21c Museum Hotels; Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts; and with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services. Past residencies include Pioneer Works and Dieu Donne. Lewis’ work is in the public collections of the The Studio Museum in Harlem, Baltimore Museum of Art, Grinnell College Museum of Art, The Blanton Museum, and 21c Museum Hotels.

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