Zane Lewis

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Zane Lewis
Born 1981
Nationality  United States
Education School of Visual Arts, Atlanta College of Art
Known for Painting, Sculpture, Installation, Abstraction
Notable work

Drip Paintings 2006-2009

Untitled, (Destroyed Jesus) 2010

Mirror, Mirrors 2010

Shatter Paintings 2010-2011

Zane Lewis (born 1981) is an American visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York.[1][2]


Lewis was born in San Antonio, Texas and studied fine art at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Atlanta College of Art affiliated with the High Museum of Art, where he earned a BFA in sculpture. Lewis was the youngest artist to exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia, having been commissioned by the museum to create an installation before completing his undergraduate degree.[3]


Early Work[edit]

His early works blurred conventional distinctions between painting and sculpture. Lewis would present his work in an installation-like format hanging canvases with printed-images then painting them onsite in the gallery. The paint dripped on the floor would become part of the exhibition. In a further extension of his practice, he created new works cut from the dried paint puddles left behind. Lewis referred to recycling and "remixing" images like a DJ.

Lewis's unique drip painting technique allowed different colors of paint to combine without mixing while retaining a wet look.[4] These cascades of paint leaked from canvases and spilled onto the floor of the exhibition space. Christopher Bollen, Editor-in-Chief of Interview Magazine, called this method of Lewis' "making art bleed."[3] "The artist allows the gash to “bleed” brightly colored paint (which he has applied), in order to express a transient and dying glamor."[5]

Lewis' mix of abstraction and appropriated images[6] caught the attention of The Wall Street Journal who included Lewis in the article "The 23-Year Old Masters," along with Ryan Trecartin, Jordan Wolfson and Dash Snow[7] in a selection of ten top emerging US artists. Lewis was exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art ArtParty Auction in conjunction with Phillips de Pury and featured as a "Groundbreaker" artist in groundbreaking ceremony for the new location in lower Manhattan.[5][8]

Hiatus and Stylistic Shift[edit]

Between 2010-2013 Lewis' website stated he was dead, however this was proven false.[9] During that time period Lewis distanced himself from exhibiting and his involvement with the art world.[10] Lewis marks this as a "transitional period," which certain elements of his work "had to die."[11] Here marks the artists rejection of iconic imagery in his work and a shift toward total abstraction.[12]

Lewis is known to avoid interviews and to have denied reputable collectors studio visits or only allowing them to view his studio by themselves.

Lewis is also a distant cousin of James Dean.[3][12]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Artpace Gala Happenings, ARTPACE News, 16 April 2014.
  2. ^ Slenske, Michael. "Spray It Loud",, 10 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Bollen, Christopher. "Zane Lewis Makes Art Bleed" Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., VMAN, Spring/Summer 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Biography: Zane Lewis",, July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Zane Lewis, Untitled (Mirror Study) archived at Whitney Art Party artists Archived January 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Smith, Roberta (2015-11-19). "Joe Grillo and Zane Lewis in Separate Shows at the Hole". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  7. ^ Crow, Kelly. "The 23-Year Old Masters", Wall Street Journal, 17 April 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  8. ^ Davis, Peter. "Whitney Art Party 2010", VOGUE Italia, 10 June 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Zane Lewis is temporarily dead: New York artist interview", "Examiner: Arts & Exhibits", August 10, 2009.
  10. ^ "Interview with Zane Lewis", Huffington Post ARTS & CULTURE, Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Colour theory: New York artist Zane Lewis re-emerges with a new body of work | Art | Wallpaper* Magazine". Wallpaper*. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  12. ^ a b "Color Fields Forever – Pari Dust". Retrieved 2016-01-18. 

External links[edit]