Post Mortem (Primary Title)
Norman Lewis, American, 1909 - 1979 (Artist)
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.
Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946-1977, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, April 1 - September 20, 1998
 Accessioned February 15, 2001. See VMFA Curatorial file.
February 2001 - Present, VMFA Collection.
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