May 4, 2018
Opens Friday, May 4 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Through June 15
TEW Galleries is pleased to present its first show for Chris Segre-Lewis, a young painter originally from Jamaica who spent his youth in Florida and now lives in Kentucky. While completing his MFA at the University of Kentucky, he discovered the horse country west of the Allegheny Mountains. Learning it had once been the “New Frontier”, this quickly developed into a reverence for the American landscape and a fascination with how artists envisioned it for more than 200 years. It also inspired him to develop his own approach to landscape painting.
Modernity is part of this approach and it is particularly evident in the quasi aerial perspectives which transform crisscrossing rivers and roads into bold, undulating lines and reshape the landscape into geometric shapes and abstract planes. Chris also achieves modernity through color combinations that are a daring and which would have once been considered fraudulent or even brazen. But these paintings also convey the sweep of past events, as if a camera lens had been left open for a long time, leaving us with a hazy sense of history. Curiously, this keeps pace with our short attention spans and actually causes us to slow down and take in these monumental vistas.
There is a final thing that makes these paintings modern and it is related to the Overview Effect, a term coined by American astronaut Frank White to describe the cognitive shift he experienced seeing earth as nothing more than a free-floating ball of vanishing boundaries and celestial wonder. Though Chris’ perspectives are far more familiar to our senses, he too has experienced a cognitive shift and through paintings that express the spiritual appeal of the perceptually overwhelming, he makes it possible for us to experience the earth as celestial as well.
- Timothy Tew