Dylan Lewis: Apex
From May 6 to 26 2021, Everard Read Johannesburg will present Apex, an exhibition of new cat sculptures by Dylan Lewis.
After a period focusing his attention on the human condition, Lewis has with this collection circled back to the subject that has long entranced collectors of figurative bronzes. Lewis’s felids, from the first bronzes in the early 1990s, have interrogated the essence of perhaps the most beautiful and graceful of all terrestrial creatures. His sculptures of leopards, tigers, cheetahs, lions and domestic cats are informed by an ancient lineage honed through millions of years of inexorable environmental change. Structure and an economy of lithe movement camouflage an ability to focus awesome explosive energy. Such is the nature of the animal that has obsessed this very rare sculptor from his formative years.
This exhibition of bronzes from miniatures to monumental will remind collectors internationally that Dylan Lewis is the most profound animalier of his time.
– Mark Read
Dylan Lewis was born in Johannesburg in 1964. He is the son of the late well-known sculptor Robin Lewis and comes from an artistic family. His great-grandfather, Thomas Rayfon Lewis, and grandmother, Renee Hughes, were accomplished artists and his mother Valerie and brother Tim are practising artists. He completed his schooling at SACS in Cape Town after which he studied art at the Cape Technikon in 1982. Lewis has always had a deep and abiding interest in the natural world. He worked at the Rondevlei Nature Reserve, Cape Town, for four years (1985-89). There, amongst other things, he painted the backdrop of the diorama in the Field Museum, illustrated a field guide and worked as a taxidermist. His skill in taxidermy has greatly benefited his painting and sculpting.
Lewis has emerged as one of the foremost figures in contemporary sculpture. His work features in private collections throughout the UK, Continental Europe, the United States and Australia, and he is one of only a handful of living artists to have had more than one solo auction with Christie’s in London.
Lewis’ primary inspiration is the wilderness. At one level his bronze sculptures celebrate the power and movement of Africa’s life forms; at another, the textures he creates speak of the continent’s primaeval, rugged landscapes and their ancient rhythms. He works intensively from life, filling books with sketches, notes and drawings. By referring to these in the solitude of his studio, he is able to reproduce the subject’s physical form while exploring their more abstract, deeper meaning.
September 15, 2021
September 13, 2021
September 09, 2021