everybody knows
ROSS LEWIS

13 - 31 May 2014

“I have made these paintings with a view to try to capture those moments, and subsequent responses when something is about to, or has just happened.” - Ross Lewis

Landscape painting has always played a part in Lewis’s oeuvre, as inspirations the work of Claude Lorrain, Caspar David Friedrich, and John Constable ruled supreme. When Lewis was at art school landscape as a subject would have been distinctly un-cool, but classical training at The Fine Arts Academy of Camberwell convinced him otherwise. Pure landscape, like pure still-life painting reflected an aesthetic viewpoint regarded as perhaps too serious and not contemporary, but to Ross Lewis it would have held a certain promise of romance, a line back to the great traditions and then forward to his concerns for the landscape in general.

Claude Lorrain’s achievement as a pioneer in landscape painting has earned him a place in the pantheon of art history, widely imitated for almost two centuries his work often produces in the popular imagination a feeling of familiarity, and so it is with Ross Lewis’s works. The landscapes are imagined, the light deliberately celestial. John Constable described Lorrain as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude’s landscape "all is lovely - all amiable - all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart". But for Ross Lewis the landscape is under threat, climate change is no longer a question but an ever increasing reality.

If Constable and Lorrain gave Lewis inspiration then Caspar David Friedrich has to be seen as a major contributor to his thought processes. His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of nature, his often symbolic approaches sought to convey a subjective, emotional response to the natural world. In doing this he sought not just to explore the blissful enjoyment of a beautiful view, but rather to examine an instant of sublimity, a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature. But to Lewis the changes in the weather are having an effect that is more terrifying than spiritual. Painting the landscape is his way of bringing us back to contemplation, not of what is there so much as what we may loose.

This is Ross Lewis’s first solo show with OREXART but his work featured in 2013’s exhibition ‘Landscape’ alongside Richard McWhannell, John Madden and Peter James Smith. Ross Lewis trained at Camberwell School of Art in London. From 1988 he did private commissions specialising in fresco painting, murals and trompe l’oeuil within England and Italy. His work is in private homes of distinction to fine hotels. Commissions took him throughout England and Italy. He lives in NZ with his wife the painter Rebecca Wallis and their two daughters.

Don't Run for the Hills, 2014. Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas. 895 x 1195 mm

SOLD

Did You See That? 2014. Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas. 1505 x 1095 mm

AVAILABLE

Something's Going to Happen, 2014. Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas.
900 x 695 mm

AVAILABLE

Run, 2014. Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas. 900 x 1000 mm

SOLD

We Could Be Safe Here for Now, 2014.
Acrylic and oil glaze on canvas. 1200 x 800 mm

SOLD

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE