Gilbert Lewis, Seated Nude

c. 1989
Graphite and gouache on paper
Credit Line
Gift of Eric Rymshaw, 2018
59 1/2 x 41 1/2 in.

In this work, Lewis experiments with a restricted, silver-gray palette and a large, almost life-sized figure. The stylization is elegant but unusual, and the atmosphere is otherworldly. Comfortable in his nudity, the figure's body language expresses an emotive state.

Numerous models recalled that it was an interesting, even revelatory experience to pose for Lewis, who had a knack for bringing emotions to the surface through conversation during his painting sessions. Many models encouraged their friends to model for Lewis because the experience was so unique.

In a 2004 publication released in conjunction with his show, Becoming Men: Portrait Paintings by Gilbert Lewis, at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in New York, Lewis commented: “I wish that the exhibition could have colored strings connecting the young men who modeled for me with the models who recommended them and the friends they recommended in turn. It would make a very interesting story.”  


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Gilbert Lewis