James Lewis



Not just suffering, but all forms of consciousness (Resend), 2022

Wood, plaster bandage, concrete, steel
209cm x 78cm x 102cm
Sediment, 2023

Wood, steel, plaster bandage, concrete, glass, whiskey
254cm x 140cm x 92cm
Two Branches (1681985542 seconds, 1710386798 seconds, Einkorn, 1713542494 seconds, 1726165274 seconds), 2023

Wood, steel, plaster bandage, concrete, plexiglass, plastic, glass, resin, pewter, dried leaves
193cm x 92cm x 18cm
The Age of Decanting (Curb Appeal), 2023

Cast aluminum 
70cm x 70cm x 3cm
Leave me alone shadow, 2015 (installation detail)

Solo exhibition at La Trap, Paris 
Two Branches (1681985542 seconds, 1710386798 seconds, Einkorn, 1713542494 seconds, 1726165274 seconds), 2023 (detail)

Wood, steel, plaster bandage, concrete, plexiglass, plastic, glass, resin, pewter, dried leaves
193cm x 92cm x 18cm
A History of Animals (The Emergence), 2018 

Wood, plaster, lead, concrete, agar, steel, rubber
62cm x 62cm x 13cm
Narrowly true but broadly misleading (LANGUAGE), 2021

Cast aluminium 
64cm x 64cm x 2cm
A Challenge of Exacting (Encyclopaedia), 2019

Wood, plaster bandage, concrete, agar, electric cable, light fitting
92cm x 90cm x 85cm
Narrowly true but broadly misleading (CONTEMPT), 2021

Cast aluminium 
69cm x 69cm x 8cm
Panic Landscape: Yellow ‘blob’, 2022

Wood, inkjet print on photographic paper, aluminum tape, poly filler, plexiglass, plastic, steel
60cm x 42cm x 4cm
Leave me alone shadow, 2015

Solo exhibition at La Trap, Paris 
Coming home, cleaning up, making dinner, 2023 (detail)

Wood, plaster bandage, concrete, glass, whiskey, electric cable, light fitting 
85cm x 85cm x 55cm 
The Age of Decanting (Zombie Contingency), 2023

Cast aluminum 
70cm x 70cm x 3cm
Country of Error (FAECES FRAUD), 2021

Cast aluminium, lead 
102cm x 60cm x 3cm
Dusk Slug IV, 2022

Wood, plaster bandage, concrete, glass, whiskey
90cm x 85cm x 85cm
Coming home, cleaning up, making dinner, 2023

Wood, plaster bandage, concrete, glass, whiskey, electric cable, light fitting 
85cm x 85cm x 55cm 
Imaginary counter power, 2021 (detail)

Wood, polyvinyl chloride (pvc), strip light, clay, acrylic paint, stainless steel, epoxy resin, speakers, amplifier, electric cable 
215cm x 205cm x 200cm
Diluvium, 2021

Wood, foam, plaster bandage, concrete, glass, whiskey, strip light, clay, acrylic paint 
Overall dimensions: 200cm x 200cm x 215cm  
Sofa: 155cm x 100cm x 75cm 
Two Branches (1681985542 seconds, 1710386798 seconds, Einkorn, 1713542494 seconds, 1726165274 seconds), 2023 (detail)

Wood, steel, plaster bandage, concrete, plexiglass, plastic, glass, resin, pewter, dried leaves
193cm x 92cm x 18cm

Injury
Solo exhibition, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna
05.03.21 - 30.04.21

Lewis’ work is focused on how entropy and chaos structure the world we inhabit, how tiny, interrelated events create reoccurring patterns that are then distilled into notions of time, space or history.

Injury addresses the impossibility of fellow feeling (1) and the works call for a different kind of inhabitance based upon the possibility that society cannot be reconciled, pain cannot be shared through empathy and that we live with and beside each other, and yet we are not as one.

Lewis’s landscape is immersed in estrangement. A crackling soundscape interrupted by machinelike beeps and buzzes emanates from Imaginary Counter Power (2021). This architectural work with an exhaustively long sound piece creates an atmosphere which oscillates and vibrates over and through all types of bodies and things, producing a complex ecology of matter and energy, subjects and objects.

Narrowly true but broadly misleading (2021) pose propositions for a new set of conveying emotions, attitudes and the understanding of a body in pain or dissonance. These sign or token-like pieces can be decoded into statistics; the average surface area of human skin, how long it takes for food to be digested, the average amount of unique words spoken per day and so on. Thus, creating a strange poetic proposition for the language and understanding of dissonance.

Accumulations of layers, networks of tumorous growth, encapsulate and fossilise over soft furnishings in Diluvium(2021). The concrete encrusted strata of this domestic scenography are polluted with sound and the odour of cheap whiskey, each adding additional layers of sensory data, one over another, evoking the portrait of an absent body detached and extracted from the connecting temporal tissue. It is exactly this horror temporis—the ruptures, scars and proliferations of (humanly conceived) time—that James Lewis addresses in his works.

(1) See Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 39.

Ruderal
Solo exhibition, Nir Altman, Munich
07.05.22 - 25.06.22

James Lewis’ solo exhibition Ruderal at Nir Altman is rooted in a sensitive environmental awareness. Like flowers turning to the sun, free-standing sculptures peer at passersby through the gallery’s street-level storefront window. A yellow PVC curtain along the window separates outside and inside. It evokes the shrink wrapped vegetables in supermarket shelves. It’s unclear whether the onlookers on the outside or the sculptures on the inside are the packed, protected goods and whether the foil contains or emits the acidic ambient haze that illuminates both sides of the window. 

Outside and inside are linked through electrical switch cases in the curtain. They are differently labeled and each offer two options, perhaps recalling the omnipresent two button meme. Illustrating the agony of choice in an intense state of insecurity, it features a comic character attempting to push one of two red buttons labeled with interchangeable or contradicting statements. This frames Lewis’ concern with datafied reality, here proposed as alternating states that can be turned off and on at will. 

Most people know that statistics are wrong the minute they are made, but what other ways are there to relate to the world? 47% of people believe in fate.(1) Facing a wasteland of information that can’t be controlled, channeled or processed by human capacities – switch on probability. Enjoy the ride. 274 km/ h is the average speed of nerve impulses.(2) Your portal to manifest thoughts into one of the probable realities behind the curtain. We used to have skin in this game. Consider the average surface area of skin is 22sq/ft (3) – our barrier to the world, growing thick. 

Lewis’ ruderal flowers shaped into forms of hanging branches have developed a thick skin, layers and layers of cells. Their stiff bodies demonstrate vitality and vulnerability at the same time. Manufactured from concrete, a building material, the flowers seem to have grown from the debris of human construction and simultaneous environmental destruction. Plantlife lives through exchange and these species endure although the gardener has failed to recognise the interconnectedness of living things. They coexist with the hum of an electrical light which, although invisible, insists on its material textures. Composed of archived sounds sourced from a sample library of field recordings, it repeats the commitment of stacking and layering fragments of repurposed material. This is perhaps how we will remember the world outside - canned and classified. A strange simulation. 

Text by Sarah Johanna Theurer, Curator, Haus der Kunst, Munich

(1) What do people believe in? Available at: https://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/british-public-reveal-beliefs-new-survey/ 

(2) 99 Quick and Fascinating Facts About the Human Body Available at: https://brightside.me/wonder- curiosities/99-quick-and-fascinating-facts-about-the-human-body-38305/ 

(3) 99 Quick and Fascinating Facts About the Human Body Available at: https://brightside.me/wonder- curiosities/99-quick-and-fascinating-facts-about-the-human-body-38305/ 

Frieze London
Focus Section, Stand H20 w/ Nir Altman, Munich

For Frieze Focus 2023 Nir Altman is pleased to present an installation of new works by James Lewis (b.1986, South London lives and works in Vienna, AT).

Lewis is an artist and educator who makes work from the perspective of being a second generation British Asian. Lewis’ sculptures and installations are reactions to the experience of growing up with a mixed identity and consequentially negotiating an omnipresent sense of displacement. At the core of his research is an interrogation of the systems we inherit, empirical boundaries which determine our relationship to the world and confine our experiences of a given environment or architecture.

Framing Lewis’s interest in a datafied reality, three shelving units line the perimeter of the booth and contain glasses with entombed fragments of dry leaves and casts of broken teeth. The series Two Branches, 2023 addresses the simplistic logic of classification and attempts to reveal the absurdity of reducing social and political complexities into statistical data, measurements of time or percentiles.

Accumulations of layers and networks of tumorous growth encapsulate and fossilise over an L-shaped sofa in Sediment, 2023. The concrete encrusted strata of this domestic scenography are polluted with the odour of cheap whiskey, adding an additional layer of sensory data to the perception of Lewis’ artwork. This blistered and ruptured furniture has been abjected away from its symbolic value of domestic equilibrium and evokes the portrait of an absent body, withdrawn and detached from their surroundings. 

Lewis’ presentation reflects the cognitive dissonance that fills our quotidian lives and questions the parameters and subjectivity of inheritance. His works aim to create a feeling of resistance and estrangement for the duration of their encounter and encourage a short moment of suspension before the interpretative and symbolic machine begins to work, tries to identify and classify.

Photos: graysc.be

(b.1986, South London, UK) 
Lives and works in Vienna

James Lewis has exhibited internationally, including at Mostyn, Wales (2022); Kunstverein Salzburg, Austria (2022); Fondazione Imago Mundi, Treviso, Italy (2022); Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2021) and his work is part of the collections of Wiener Städtische, Vienna, Austria; MARe (Museum of Recent Art), Bucharest, Romania; Collection Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Brussels, Belgium.

He completed his studies within the Fine Art Department at the Royal College of Art in London (2010 - 2012) and has taught at The University of Applied Arts, Vienna; The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna; Leeds University, UK; Norwich School of Art, UK; Kingston University, UK; Paris College of Art, Paris, France; and is currently a Lecturer in Fine Art at AVU, Prague, Czech Republic and an Associate Mentor at Conditions, an artist studio complex in his hometown Croydon, UK.

EDUCATION

2010 – 2012 Royal College of Art, London, UK 
2005 – 2008 Kingston University, Surrey, UK

COLLECTIONS

MARe (Museum of Recent Art), Bucharest, RO
Wiener Städtische, Vienna, AT
Collection Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Brussels, BE

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2023
*Frieze London, Focus Section, Booth H20 w/ Nir Altman, Munich, DE

2022
Ruderal, Nir Altman Gallery, Munich, DE

2021 
Injury, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT

2019 
Sagas, Futur Zwei, Vienna, AT

2018 
*Vienna Contemporary, Booth F16 w/ Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT

2017
*Not Fair, Warsaw w/ Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT

2016 
Mouse Cleaning, Futura: Karlin Studios, Prague, CZ 
Before the hyle, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT 
The problem I can no longer read, Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris, FR

2015
Leave me alone shadow, LaTrap, Paris, FR

2014 
At the limit of primal repression, After Hours, Sevres, FR

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection)

2024
Unknown Familiars: The Vienna Insurance Group Collections, Leopold Museum, Vienna, AT


2022
Temporary Atlas curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, Mostyn, Wales, UK
Man’s Traces in Nature, Galeria Wschód, Warsaw, PL
Cafe Heaven curated by Pina Vienna, Salzburg Kunstverein, Salzburg, AT
Staying With The Trouble curated by Marianne Dobner, Carbon 12, UAE
Temporary Atlas curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, Gallerie Delle Prigioni, Fondazione Benetton, Treviso, IT

2021
For some bags under the eyes curated by Romain Sarrot, sans titre (2016), Paris, FR
Le Club du Poisson-Lune (The Moonfish Club) curated by Cedric Fauq, Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, FR
*Duo presentation with Nancy Haynes, Art-o-rama, w/ Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT

2019 
flowers of sulphur, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT
Swamp Horses, Spirit Vessel, Espinavessa, ES 
IDEAL TYPES (Chapter 2) curated by Alfredo Cramerotti and Elsa Barbieri, Marignana Arte, Venice, IT 
non-binary, KS Room, Feldbach, AT

2018 
Schmalz, Guimarães, Vienna, AT 
SM, A collaborative exhibition organised by Margaux Barthélemy and Sans titre (2016), Marseille, FR
Carved and Shaped by Proximity, Pina, Vienna, AT 

2017 
Identify your limitations, acknowledge your periphery, Vitrine Gallery, Basel, CH 
*Art Vilnius curated by Juste Jonutyte, Litexpo, Vilnius, LTU
Can‘t you hear my voices? w/ Jenine Marsh, Rupert, Vilnius, LTU 

2016 
not really really, Collection Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Brussels, BE 

2015 
Future Days, Le Doc, Paris, FR 
DOC, Le Doc, Paris, FR 
Tomorrow Today, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, AT 
Collecting Artist, Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris, FR 
*Là où sont mes pieds je suis à ma place curated by Shanaynay, Paramount Ranch, California, USA 

2014 
Hell, Le Chiquito, Paris, FR 
Macao default stroke, Futur II, Sevres, FR 
59e Salon de Montrouge, Le Beffroi, Montrouge, FR 
Push and Paint, Touch and Display curated by Alys Williams and Vlada Tcharyeva, Vitrine Gallery, London, UK 

2013 
Everything is Material, Le Point Perché, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR 
*More or less poems curated by Gallien Dejean, art berlin contemporary, Berlin, DE 
La victoire ou la mort, Galerie Crous, Paris, FR 
Pumphouse Open curated by Hannah Conroy, Pumphouse Gallery, London, UK 
mass. en masse. mass medium curated by Alys Williams, CGP London, London, UK 
Mostyn Open 18, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, UK. Selected by Ryan Gander, Alfredo Cramerotti and Adam Carr

*Presentations at Art Fairs

CURATED PROJECTS

2020
As time went on, a rumour started, Gianni Manhattan , Vienna, AT

2013 
Everything is Material, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR 

2009 
Panda Malin Head, Auto Italia South East Gallery, London, UK 

2007 
Then + Then, Shoreditch Town Hall, London, UK 

RESIDENCIES

Rupert, Vilnius, LTU 
Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, FR 

TEACHING

Lecturer Fine Art
AVU, Prague, Czech Republic
(October 2022 - ongoing)

Associate Mentor
Conditions Artist Studios, London, England
(January 2020 - ongoing)

Visiting Lecturer
Fine Art Department
Norwich School of Art, Norwich, England 
(May 2022)

Visiting Tutor
Fine Art Department
UMPRUM, Prague, Czech Republic
(December 2020)

Freelance Technician
Kiki Kogelnik Foundation, Vienna, Austria
(June 2018 - April 2019)

Visiting Tutor
Ortsbezogene Kunst Department
Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria 
(January 2018 - August 2018) 

Visiting Lecturer
Ortsbezogene Kunst Department
Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria
(March 2018 - August 2018) 

Visiting Tutor of Fine Art
Photography Department
Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria 
(February 2017 - July 2017)

Professor of Sculpture
Fine Art Department, Paris College of Art, Paris, France 
(September 2013 – June 2016)

Printmaking Technician
Fine Art Department, Paris College of Art, Paris, France 
(September 2013 – June 2015)

Project Co-ordinator and Visiting Tutor 
Across all departments at Paris College of Art (Critical Theory, Design Management, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography)
Paris College of Art, Paris, France (January 2013 – June 2013)

Visiting Tutor of Fine Art
Foundation Department 
Kingston University, London, England (December 2012)

Visiting Tutor – Fine Art Department
University of Leeds, Leeds, England (April 2011)

Visiting Tutor – Fine Art Department
Paris College of Art, Paris, France (May 2013)

Drawing Instructor - Fine Art Course
Foundation Department, Kingston University, London, England 
(July – August 2012)

Visiting Lecturer
Fine Art Course - Foundation Department
Kingston University, London, England (June – July 2011)

Visiting Lecturer
Fine Art Department 
University of Leeds, Leeds England (June – July 2011)

Visiting Lecturer
Fine Art Department
Norwich School of Art, Norwich, England (June – July 2011)

Visiting Lecturer
Fine Art Department - Summer School
Parsons School of Art and Design, Paris, France 
(June – July 2011)
For further information please contact:
Natascha Burger
Senior Director
Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna

natascha (at) galeriewinter.at

Philipp Wagner
Artist Liaison
Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna

phillip (at) galeriewinter.at

or

Nir Altman
Director
Nir Altman Gallery, Munich

info (at) niraltman.com

or
jameslewisstudio (at) gmail.com


To download a recent portfolio of works, please click here





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VAT: ATU80076506

Studio address: Löblichgasse 8, 1090 Wien
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