Norman Lewis

Norman Lewis (1909-1979) was the sole black artist in the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. He began his career as a Social Realist painter, focusing on the inequities caused by poverty and racism. In the mid-1940s, his focus shifted towards abstraction, drawing inspiration from the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Mark Tobey. Lewis remained committed to social concerns throughout his career, forming the civil rights-focused Spiral Group with Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, and Hale Woodruff. His works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.


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