Oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 64 × 50 in. (162.56 × 127 cm)
Not on view

Like many of his peers, Lewis turned to abstraction in the mid-1940s. Active in the New York School of Abstract painters, Lewis was close to many, especially Ad Reinhardt. Lewis was also an important teacher and mentor in the Harlem arts community. In addition, he was highly political and active in the Civil Rights movement. Lewis helped found the black artists' collective known as Spiral in the early 1960s.

Post Mortem, from Lewis's Civil Rights series in the early 1960s, reflects his lifelong interest in the expressive potential of the color black. Here, Lewis used abstract forms and gestures to allude interracial conflict. White forms evoke hooded and mounted figures, bringing a chilling association to what remains a nonrepresentational image.

Signed at lower right corner: "Norman Lewis '64". Signed label on verso: "Lewis".
Gift of the Fabergé Society of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
75th Anniversary Statewide Exhibition, "Van Gogh" Section; Radford University, January 11 - March 9, 2011; Piedmont Art Association, martinsville, July 15 - October 11, 2011; University of Washington, Fredericksburg, October 12 - December 8, 2011.

Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946-1977, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, April 1 - September 20, 1998
Estate of Norman W. Lewis, New York; (Iandor Fine Arts, Newark, NJ); Gift to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in February of 2001. [1]

[1] Accessioned February 15, 2001. See VMFA Curatorial file.

February 2001 - Present, VMFA Collection.
©artist or artist’s estate

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