Steve Lewis, who was born and raised in Dividing Creek, NJ, began oil painting while studying with Elsie Donaghay as a child. Under the tutelage of Judith Scull at Bridgeton High School, he learned new drawing and painting techniques that were employed to develop a body of work used to apply to art colleges. Lewis received a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Here he studied the figure and explored large scale painting with Joan Semmel and Billie Pritchard. During his undergraduate studies, he did a Junior Year Abroad at Reading University in Reading, England. Lewis traveled through Europe, which was a life changing experience and eventually led him to settle down in Leipzig, Germany. He returned to the United States to earn an MFA at Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA. There he worked closely with painters such as Rachael Harper and Steve Emmett. Although his paintings became increasingly abstract visually, the content and exploration of personal connections to family and friends was of great importance.
Lewis’ paintings called Meta-Triptychs mark a return to figurative painting with a new use of narrative and focus mainly on Americana. He began developing this idea after reading about metamodernism and the Notes on Metamodernism by Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker. Each of these paintings include three focal points within one narrative scene. There seems to be a break or a change in the flow of a normal event; where a surprise or something unexpected takes place. As one views the depicted moment in time, one ponders what has just taken place and what will happen next. This engagement with the painting is as much the art as the painted piece. The compositions are arranged in a manner whereby the viewers feel as though they are part of the environment or could easily imagine stepping into the scene – where they become part of the narrative for that moment and begin to contemplate what to do next.
Painting Studio at the Leipzig Spinnerei in Leipzig-Plagwitz.
Leipzig International School
Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fine Arts BFA, 1990 - 1994
University of Reading, Reading, UK
Rutgers' Junior Year Abroad, 1992 - 1993
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA
Fine Arts-Painting MFA, 1997 - 1999