Ross Lewis: Dancing with Rope

Opening time:4pm, July 18, 2015
Duration: 2015.07.18 -- 2015.08.04
Location: 3rd floor exhibition hall of building 1, Today Art Museum

Exhibition Preface

Ross Lewis is an American artist and arts educator who is internationally known for creating art that engages with the Chinese literati tradition. With a deep-seated fascination for China and its culture, in his twenties Lewis began studying Chinese landscape painting, calligraphy, under the tutelage of notable artist/collector C.C. Wang in New York. Lewis’ interest in Chinese art, history, and Mandarin language, brought him to China and Taiwan, where he studied mounting at the National Palace Museum, and over the course of a decade he had the rare opportunity to visit and exchange ideas with some of the modern masters of Chinese painting, such as Lu Yanshao, Li Keran, Zhu Qizhan, and Cheng Shifa. As a result of these experiences, Lewis has come to develop a distinct visual language, which bridges key aesthetic and philosophical sensibilities of the Eastern artistic traditions to his Western context.

Transcending categorization by assimilating his training in both Western and Chinese painting, Lewis is now recognized for breaking new, universal ground in his artwork that evokes both traditions. In recent years, he has departed from the conventional use of the Chinese brush in the development of his Rope Painting Series, using instead an ink-soaked rope as his primary means of marking the paper surface. Richly textured and full of energy, Lewis’ rope paintings are a dazzling panoply of social, aesthetic and art-historical meaning. A personal diary of experiences, these paintings take on towering dimensions yet still evoke the subtle and sophisticated brushwork of literati painting. By developing these works into installation art, Lewis has been able to translate traditional literati concepts beyond the intimate personal space of ink painting, and into the public realm. 

The exhibition Dancing with Rope at the Today Art Museum (TAM) will be Ross Lewis’ first major academic solo exhibition in China, and is curated by distinguished art historian Dr. Shen Kuiyi. Dancing with Rope will showcase approximately fifty works by the artist, including: his most recent Rope Painting series, a video installation of the artist’s monumental Scroll Machine, Lewis’ Chinese-landscape inspired paintings, archival materials of Lewis’ early studies with Chinese painters in Taiwan and China, as well as photographs and videos of Lewis’ installation projects from around the world. The exhibition is produced in partnership with the US Embassy of Beijing and the Today Art Museum. 


Shen Kuiyi


Ross Lewis