The attached very sensitive obituary of Simon Lewty has just been posted online. It is by the art historian, Paul Hills, who knew Lewty when teaching at Warwick in the mid-1970s.
Lewty was a remarkable artist, living almost entirely in the realm of his imagination, combining graphics, calligraphy and arcane, sometimes primitive imagery in a distinctive and highly original way, informed by a deeply stocked knowledge of the history of art – medieval, mystical and contemporary. He was an artist who was highly regarded in the mid-1980s when, as Hills says, he had exhibitions at the Serpentine and Ikon Gallery, but then disappeared from public view, too shy for his own good, too concerned with the realm of the imagination, only visiting Swanage after finding the experience of Chartres Cathedral too overwhelming.
I’m pleased to learn that he has been recorded by the National Sound Archive, which will reveal the ideas and beliefs which informed his art.
3 thoughts on “Simon Lewty (1)”
I’m afraid that I had not heard of him but reading his obituary and looking at some of the online images of his art I do so wish he had been able to collaborate with the weaving studios at Dovecot. The work they have done with, for example, Chris Ofili, Jock McFadyen and Gary Fabian Miller is extraordinary. An interpretation of Lewty’s work in fibre would be a wonderful thing.
His gallery Art First worked very hard at keeping Simon in the public eye, even as late as this summer with an exhibition of his recent work at Snape Maltings.
Yes, I underplayed their role in supporting Simon’s work over a long period and have tried to correct this in Simon Lewty (2).