Spencer Lewis

Specer Lewis was born in Hartford, CT, in 1979. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Known for his gestural paintings on carboard and jute, Spencer Lewis uses flashy bright and colorful notions executed through streaked lines, smears of paint and rough strokes that suggest the impulsive creative process underneath. With chaotic, almost infinite layers, Lewis’s canvases conceal and simultaneously unveil a brushstroke, a gesture over the other, stories and moments culminating and accumulating on the painting’s densest parts. Despite the apparent unpredictability of Lewis’s compositions, they are based on a methodology and structure. Lewis is, in fact, interested in pictorial organization and image-making. Consistently concentrating towards the centre of the canvas, Lewis’s brushstrokes frantically tell the different layers of the same narrative. Descriptive marks and eloquent signs build up on the jute to create a history on the verge of legibility. 

Lewis’ work is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentoville, Arkansas.

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Solo exhibitions
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
I, Put a Mess, MASSIMODECARLO, Milano
USA, Jacques Lewis, Vito Schnabel Gallery, New York
A, Bubbles, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan
USA, Jacques (Pink and Purple Paintings for My Dad), Harper’s Chelsea, New York
UK, Odds & Sods, Josh Lilley, London
B, Turnip (two kinds of violence), Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels
USA, Six Jutes (2), Harper’s Chelsea, New York
USA, On Valentines, Canada, New York
CH, Susan Mary, Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz
USA, Four New Work, Vito Schnabel Gallery, New York
USA, Literacy Devolves into Violence, Harper’s Books, East Hampton
USA, Six Jutes (1), Harper’s Chelsea, New York
USA, Spencer Lewis, Harper’s Apartment, New York
USA, Violet Paintings for the Red and Blue Studio, Harper’s Apartment, New York
USA, Evil Baby Bully Part Object Paintings, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, Savage Curio: Spencer Lewis and Eamon Ore-Giron, Et Al, San Francisco
USA, Paint Object, Edward Cella, Los Angeles
USA, Powerful Emptiness, Hayworth Gallery, Los Angeles
Group exhibitions
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
PP, Sounds of Blackness Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Manila
B, Intersection, Charles Riva Collection, Brussels
PRC, The Descendants, K11 MUSEA, Hong Kong
I, What You See Is What You Get, MASSIMODECARLO, Milano
CN, Reflections: Partly Fiction, Woaw Gallery, Hong Kong
Fragile and Unregulated Curated by Brian Rochefort, MASSIMODECARLO, VSpace
USA, Melrose, Harper’s, Los Angeles
JP, I Care Because You Do Curated by Matt Black, The Mass, Tokyo
USA, Fabrics, Goodwill SoCal, Los Angeles
USA, Isolation is the Mother of Invention Part I, Kathryn Brennan Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, A Doctor, a Painter, and an Alchemist Walk into a Bar: Alchemist, DRx Romanelli, Spencer Lewis (Album Installation), Over the Influence, Los Angeles
USA, Ecdysis II, Ltd, Los Angeles
B, Ecdysis, MAS, Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp
USA, Nine, No Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, Mind, Body, Soul with Maysha Mohamedi and Samuel Jablon, Lowell Ryan Projects, Los Angeles
USA, Vision Valley, The Pit, Glendale
USA, Common Room Curated by Even Trine, Finishing Concepts, Los Angeles
USA, Six Artists: Theresa Chromati Adam Henry Spencer Lewis Caitlin Lonegan Emily Mae Smith Tim Wilson, Harper’s Books, East Hampton
USA, Carry the Bend, Brennan and Griffin, New York
USA, Indulge Curated by John Wolf, Art Movement, Los Angeles
USA, Group show, Shoulder Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, Unbound, Edward Cella, Los Angeles
USA, After Image, Carl Berg, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine
USA, 6018 Wilshire, Edward Cella, Los Angeles
USA, Venice Beach Biennial, Monique van Genderen, Los Angeles
USA, Immanent Domain Part Two, Allen Tombello, Arena1 Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, Immanent Domain Part One, Allen Tombello, West Los Angeles Community College, Los Angeles
USA, Larval Stages, Nathan Danolovich, Latned Astar, Los Angeles
USA, Lovable Like Orphan Kitties and Bastard Children, Josh Aster Kristen Calabrese, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee
USA, Boofthle Booth – Booth: Deux / The Hollywood Biennale, Mateo Tannat, Pauline, Los Angeles
USA, Feelings and Power, Rowan Wood, Five Thirty Three Gallery, Los Angeles
USA, Black Dragon Society Group Show, Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles

Public collections

United States of America
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentoville, Arkansas


Spencer Lewis