Private View | Tuesday 15 March, 6-8PM
Edel Assanti is pleased to present an exhibition of work by artist Dale Lewis.
Lewis’ paintings are made from memory, assembling real life experiences and observations over compositions borrowed from painted religious scenes, art historical masterworks and public sculptures. The tableaux of unsettling figures and grotesque behaviour seems to satirically clash with the classical compositional framework Lewis employs, and yet reverts to an artistic tradition of drawing inspiration from immediate surroundings, however unappetizing
they may seem.
The paintings interrogate contemporary urban society, exploring themes ranging from 9-5 jobs and gay culture to multiculturalism, class divides, drug addiction and hooligan violence. Underneath a thin veil of satirical humour, the works are pervaded by tense anxiety, instilling horror and wide-eyed fascination in the viewer by fixating on facets of society that we are not accustomed to seeing, or avert our eyes from intentionally. London (where the artist
resides) life is a particular focus of the latest works. Lewis seeks to draw out a spectrum of contrasting images drawn from the cityscape, with its slide from rich to poor, ancient to new, and a religious diversity capable of interpreting an identical image in opposite terms.
The works are created from memory with no preparatory sketches or photographs, deliriously distorting true events witnessed by the artist, culminating from months of reflection. They are often left in suspension, underdone rather than overworked. As an image begins to appear at the start of a painting, Lewis endeavours to preserve as much rawness as possible, avoiding a slide in either direction towards abstraction or realism.