“Art becomes an activity of discovery- emotional, intellectual, and technical- not only for the artist but for those who view his work.”    Norman Lewis (1909-1979)

Norman Lewis at Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art

Norman Lewis at Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art Bottom Left: Part Vision, oil on canvas

Finding your voice and honing your style, or vision as an artist, is a life long process.

Procession: the Art of Norman Lewis at PAFA (Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA) illustrates this activity of discovery beautifully.  We see his early works as a young artist growing up in Harlem, studying and copying paintings, prints, and other objects that were available to him in the libraries and museums of New York City.

As you explore the rooms and galleries of PAFA you see his own personal language develop through the 90 or so pieces. The title of the exhibition- Procession refers to both his political and cultural aesthetics, experiences and concerns. His marks are calligraphic, abstract, and also, figurative, as we see the celebratory and/or haunting gathering of souls that proliferate his work.

The exhibition is up through April 3, 2016.


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