This beautifully illustrated catalogue accompanies the first major museum retrospective of the painter Norman Lewis (1909–1979). Lewis was the sole African American artist of his generation who became committed to issues of abstraction at the start of his career and continued to explore them over its entire trajectory. His art derived inspiration from music (jazz and classical) and nature (seasonal change, plant forms, the sea). Also central to his work were the dramatic confrontations of the civil rights movement, in which he was an active participant among the New York art scene. Bridging the Harlem Renaissance, Abstract Expressionism, and beyond, Lewis is a crucial figure in American abstraction whose reinsertion into the discourse further opens the field for recognition of the contributions of artists of color. Bringing much-needed attention to Lewis’s output and significance in the history of American art, Procession is a milestone in Lewis scholarship and a vital resource for future study of the artist and abstraction in his period.
Published in association with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia: November 13, 2015–April 3, 2016
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth: June 4–August 21, 2016
Chicago Cultural Center: September 17, 2016–January 8, 2017
Ruth Fine retired in 2012 after a long and distinguished career at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, highlights of which included the development and coordination of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States and exhibitions of the art of Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. In 2003 Fine organized the acclaimed exhibition The Art of Romare Bearden, which traveled from Washington to four additional venues. She is chair of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation board.