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Martin Lewis Original Drypoint Circus Night

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Martin Lewis Original Drypoint Circus Night

Lot 0013 Details

Description
Title: Circus Night.
Martin Lewis (1880-1962)
Medium: Drypoint and sandground, 1933.
Edition unknown, recorded impressions 43. (20 impressions were unsigned at the time of the artist's death).
Signed in pencil.
Image size 11 1/8 x 14 7/8" (28.3 x 37.8 cm).
The Prints of Martin Lewis. A Catalogue Raisonne. Paul McCarron #103.

Martin Lewis (1880-1962) is considered one of the greatest American printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century. He used his superb sense of composition and his technical skill as a master printmaker to create images of New York City and rural Connecticut that are as captivating today as they were in the late 1920’s when he was first recognized as an artist. Martin Lewis was one of the first artists to sell out an edition of his prints during an exhibition with most of his etchings and drypoints selling out in a few months.

Martin Lewis was born in Castlemaine, Australia, on July 9, 1880, the second of eight children. His parents instilled in the children the work ethic - that hard work was part of life. Martin Lewis showed an early aptitude for drawing and spent a considerable amount of time sketching everything. In 1898 after the death of his father, Martin decided to leave home. He traveled through Victoria and New South Wales, picking up odd jobs from time to time, eventually ending up in an artist “Bush Camp” in caves overlooking Sidney Harbor. The exact date he arrived in America is not known, what is known is he was paid for painting stage decorations for the McKinley for President campaign.

Officially, Martin Lewis first etchings date from 1915, although crude when comparing them to his work in the late 1920's. He traveled to Japan in 1920 a turning point in the artist's career. He studied Ukiyo-E and other styles of Japanese art. He did paintings, watercolors, and drawings every day. He did not work on any prints, but he refined his artistic vision. In 1924 he began making prints again – His subjects were from his travels in Japan. The Downtown Gallery represented him briefly before Kennedy Galleries. His first exhibition at Kennedy Galleries was in 1927 primarily for his watercolors; he included a few of his drypoints as well. The drypoints sold well and caught the attention of Otto Torrington, the head of the Print Department at Kennedy Galleries. The next year he had an exhibition at Kennedy Galleries featuring his etchings and drypoints. The demand for his prints at that show was overwhelming.

His work are in numerous museums including the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library, Cleveland Museum, and The Detroit Institute of Arts to name just a few.
Condition
Condition: Very good condition, no tears, or stains. Lewis impressions are graded by impression quality and with this print the luminosity of the circus tent is important. This is a superb impression.
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Martin Lewis Original Drypoint Circus Night

Estimate $35,000 - $40,000
Dec 14, 2019
Starting Price $25,000
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0013: Martin Lewis Original Drypoint Circus Night

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Est. $35,000 - $40,000Starting Price $25,000
American Fine Art and Posters
Sat, Dec 14, 2019 11:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 10%

Lot 0013 Details

Description
...
Title: Circus Night.
Martin Lewis (1880-1962)
Medium: Drypoint and sandground, 1933.
Edition unknown, recorded impressions 43. (20 impressions were unsigned at the time of the artist's death).
Signed in pencil.
Image size 11 1/8 x 14 7/8" (28.3 x 37.8 cm).
The Prints of Martin Lewis. A Catalogue Raisonne. Paul McCarron #103.

Martin Lewis (1880-1962) is considered one of the greatest American printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century. He used his superb sense of composition and his technical skill as a master printmaker to create images of New York City and rural Connecticut that are as captivating today as they were in the late 1920’s when he was first recognized as an artist. Martin Lewis was one of the first artists to sell out an edition of his prints during an exhibition with most of his etchings and drypoints selling out in a few months.

Martin Lewis was born in Castlemaine, Australia, on July 9, 1880, the second of eight children. His parents instilled in the children the work ethic - that hard work was part of life. Martin Lewis showed an early aptitude for drawing and spent a considerable amount of time sketching everything. In 1898 after the death of his father, Martin decided to leave home. He traveled through Victoria and New South Wales, picking up odd jobs from time to time, eventually ending up in an artist “Bush Camp” in caves overlooking Sidney Harbor. The exact date he arrived in America is not known, what is known is he was paid for painting stage decorations for the McKinley for President campaign.

Officially, Martin Lewis first etchings date from 1915, although crude when comparing them to his work in the late 1920's. He traveled to Japan in 1920 a turning point in the artist's career. He studied Ukiyo-E and other styles of Japanese art. He did paintings, watercolors, and drawings every day. He did not work on any prints, but he refined his artistic vision. In 1924 he began making prints again – His subjects were from his travels in Japan. The Downtown Gallery represented him briefly before Kennedy Galleries. His first exhibition at Kennedy Galleries was in 1927 primarily for his watercolors; he included a few of his drypoints as well. The drypoints sold well and caught the attention of Otto Torrington, the head of the Print Department at Kennedy Galleries. The next year he had an exhibition at Kennedy Galleries featuring his etchings and drypoints. The demand for his prints at that show was overwhelming.

His work are in numerous museums including the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library, Cleveland Museum, and The Detroit Institute of Arts to name just a few.
Condition
...
Condition: Very good condition, no tears, or stains. Lewis impressions are graded by impression quality and with this print the luminosity of the circus tent is important. This is a superb impression.

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