New exhibition of sketches reveals the evolution of artistic works

A mixed-media exhibition featuring the works of Connecticut artist Nathan Lewis is on display through Dec. 7 at Willamette University’s Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center.

The exhibit is titled “The Hand That Finds, The Hand That Feeds, The Hand That Fails: An Installation of Sketchbook Drawings by Nathan Lewis.” Through it, curator Andries Fourie says the evolution of the artistic process is exposed.

“Often, it is only by looking at the artist’s sketchbook and preparatory studies that a work’s evolution is revealed,” says Fourie, an assistant art professor at Willamette. “It is there that the artist feels free to make mistakes or fail without the consequences of being exposed to public criticism.”

Lewis’s sketchbook is filled with compositional studies, technical experiments, anatomical and architectural studies and copies of masterworks. Fourie adds that the works blend Lewis’s sense of humor with literary, historical and mythological references.

“The studies are unified by his devotion to naturalistic expression, which he explains as an attempt to ‘get back to that moment of experiencing whatever it was that my eyes saw before I named it,’” Fourie says.

Lewis is an assistant professor of art at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

The Roger W. Rogers Gallery is located in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center on the Willamette University campus. It is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the regular semester. Admission is free.