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Jason Clay Lewis

The Ecstasy Series paintings use sections of color to create a disorientating vanishing point. The colors draw the viewer in as the center appears to create a vibrating optical flicker. Like Op Art, pictorial space becomes ambiguous, neither deep nor flat. The rays of color create an experience of overwhelming ecstasy much like early religious Renaissance paintings. One’s senses get absorbed by multiple swaths of color. The works have an inherent aura and power when viewed directly. Technically the paintings harken back to geometric abstraction of early 20th century Futurism and the expressive paintings of Color Fields.


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Jason Clay Lewis was born in Enid, Oklahoma surrounded by fast cars and open sky. With an intense 
passion for drawing and wanting to see the world, recognition at Oklahoma State University led to a 
scholarship and apprenticeship with Master Printer Bill Goldston at Universal Limited Art Editions in New York. On his very first day he met Jasper Johns who had come to work on a new print edition. While at U.L.A.E., he worked along side artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Rosenquist, Carroll Dunham, Jane Hammond, Elizabeth Murray, Kiki Smith, and Terry Winters. This led to becoming Jasper Johns' personal studio assistant where he was immersed in the everyday activities of the studio as well as handling the daily life of the artist. This gave Lewis the extraordinary opportunity of meeting individuals such as Leo Castelli (art dealer), Michael Crighton (writer), John Cage (composer), and Merce Cunningham (choreographer). Through these interactions, Lewis gained an immense appreciation of the ethics, inner workings, and incredible dedication it takes to succeed in the art world. Continuing his education at The Cooper Union, Lewis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine 


“The Death of Superman” is about the loss of innocence and that feeling that you are indestructible. 


“Get Well Soon” is a bit of dark humor added to an otherwise tragic event. The sculptures were made 
between the time my father had a stroke in July 2021 and his passing in March of 2022. My father was not much for writing, so he would send newspaper clippings (papier-mâché) with articles that he thought I would enjoy marked with an “x” or “circled”. The works are an expression of dealing with grief by using dark humor during difficult and tragic times.

“As an artist, my approach has always been intentionally to confound and challenge attempts to make things fit into what we already know and think. I strive to question perceived beauty, life, and creation. I have an urgent conviction that art is a passionate and essential affair, as if a matter of life and death, where one senses the only response to our mortality is art. Without glossing over the violence of the natural world I ask questions about man's suicidal folly, the one we call progress, a merger into commerce and profit, of false facades that force us to reconsider our world of visual imagery. I tinker with these visual explanations, trying to give them purpose, direction, and meaning, always perfectly aware that knowing this constant probing does not have a sequence to a perfect solution. Atypical and fascinating, as an adventurer blending expression, analysis, and experience, I use every means and media available to explore my love of knowledge and depict limits, while trying to push those limits even farther. My interest in unique tools and materials helps to develop my ideas of attraction verses repulsion allowing my work to have both a strong visceral feeling while maintaining a direct cerebral presence."

Jason currently lives and works in Scarsdale, New York.

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