Yale University, 1977, MFA
About My Work
I think of my artwork not just as a means of personal expression, but as a way to share with others, my delight and excitement in the things I find around me - in particular their spiritual nature. I revel in the discovery of apparently insignificant items, textures, colors, shapes, etc. and collect them constantly. Frequently I do not know exactly what inspires me about something and it can be quite elusive to define - an idea, a function, an association, a color, a resonance - and it can be about contrasts or conjunctions. Lately, for example, I've been celebrating my love of New York City's gorgeously colored, vintage subway tiles in a series of textured paintings that I refer to as my "subway series". It's a simple expression based on a frequently overlooked specific item, but simplicity is a keynote for me.
My assemblages explore those tiny and subtle qualities of each item compared or contrasted to those of another in the work. Each then relates in some small way to yet another which may relate to yet another in still a different manner. The resonances might be clear and loud, or they may be apparent only to me, the artist. These qualities can include purpose, function, spiritual nature, or other more esoteric attributes, while aesthetically technical relationships to one another within the grouping are also an ingredient -- colors connect, positions relate to each other, and materials have quixotic juxtapositions in both the physical and metaphysical realms.
Through simplicity and triviality, eventually can come sophisticated complexities rising to cosmic importance. In my work I most love to memorialize the ephemeral, celebrate the beauty of insignificance, recognize the tiny interconnected resonances between objects and ideas, and use as much of a sense of space, volume, surface and texture as I possibly can.
Bio/Resume Lewis Folden
born: Tacoma, WA
grew up: Santa Rosa, CA
lives in: Manhattan
Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis - 1972
Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University - 1977
Dept. of Theatre, SUNY Buffalo from 1978 - 1980
visiting assistant professor:
George Mason University - multiple times
Towson State College, MD - multiple times
Georgetown University - multiple times
Catholic University of America, Wash. DC - consistently over the past 15 years
I have always worked as an artist, but it is only in the past decade that I have started to focus on the fine arts. My recent accomplishments in that area are listed below. Not shown are a substantial number of works sold to individuals and collectors throughout the country from Florida to Alaska and from Maine to Texas.
In a 30+ year career as an award-winning scenic designer, my scenery has appeared in many theatres -- Washington DC's Kennedy Center, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co., and Theatre J; Philadelphia's Peoples' Light & Theatre Co., Freedom Theatre and The Arden Theatre; Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Co.; Buffalo's Studio Arena; Norfolk's Virginia Stage Co.; and others. I have extensive dance experience including The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, The Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet.
My scenic designs have appeared on both coasts and have traveled as far afield as London, Prague and Italy. Over time, I have designed world premieres by world-renowned playwrights John Guare, Ariel Dorfman, Eric Bentley, Jules Feiffer, and Robert Brustein.
Front Street Gallery, Patterson, NY - Nov/Dec 2012
Midoma Gallery - Manhattan - Apr-May 2012
Covington & Burling - Wash., DC - Jul-Oct 2009
Cosi - 13th & Broadway - New York - Feb 2010
Cosi - Park & 31st - New York - Feb 2009
Tavern on Jane - New York - Sep 2008
Cosi - Park & 21st - New York - Jun 2008
Midoma Gallery - New York - Jun 17 - Jul 19, 2008
Cosi - Park & 21st - New York - Apr/May 2008
** Empty Wall Itinerant Art Initiative - Itkowitz & Harwood - New York - Nov 2012
Gowanus Open Studios - Brooklyn - Oct 2012
Expressions on the Wall - NYC - Jul 2012
Brooklyn Artists Gym - Summer Salon - Jul 2012
Front Street Gallery, Patterson, NY - Home - May/Jun 2012
Brooklyn Artists Gym Spring Salon - Apr 2012
Gallery Bar - Manhattan - Feb 2012
Itkowitz & Harwood - New York - Oct/Dec 2011 - Empty Wall Itinerant Art Initiative
** Cliff Young, Ltd. - New York - May 2010
Midoma Gallery - New York - Jan 2010
CCCP Gallery - Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Apr 2009
BeijaFlor Gallery - Wimberley TX - Mar 2009
The Canvas Project: ArtHouse Coop - Atlanta GA - Dec 2008
Output at reBar - Brooklyn - Aug. 2008
nAscent Art NY - Chelsea Market - Aug/Sep 2008
ArtGotham - Square Foot Show - Jun 2008
Reflect-arts - Small Works - Jun 2008
Arlington Public Library - Social Politics - juried - Jun 2008
On the Bright Side Art Gallery - Jersey City - Apr 2008
Arlington Public Library - Recycled Art - juried - Apr 2008
nAscent Art NY - Art on the Block - juried - Mar 2008
nAscent Art NY - New York - Mar. 2008
Output at reBar - Brooklyn - Mar. 2008
nAscent Art NY - Philadelphia - Jan. 2008
** currently open
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