Simon Lewty (2)

I have been very mildly castigated for suggesting in my recent post about Simon Lewty that he may have somewhat dropped out of public view after a period in the mid-1980s when he had exhibitions more or less simultaneously at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and then at the Serpentine and was taken on by Anne Berthoud who showed his work in her gallery in Clifford Street. I exaggerated this sense of him dropping out of public view. The truth is that his work went on being seen and shown in exhibitions – for example, there was an exhibition at the Mead Art Gallery and Nottingham in 1992 – and he continued to be represented by Art First who showed his work over a period of thirty years in their gallery upstairs on Cork Street and later in Eastcastle Street.

My point was more that he was not the type to promote himself; that his work has not been shown, as it deserves to be, by Tate. I hope his recent death will lead to a reappraisal, as people now look back on artists who were prominent in the 1970s and 1980s. He was in so many ways a great original.

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3 thoughts on “Simon Lewty (2)

  1. fionabaigriehooper says:

    Around early 2000 I spent a day with Simon at his home in Leamington Spa in preparation for showing his work in my home in Manhattan for Art First for whom I was working at the time. I already owned a work from 1995 which Clare Cooper had encouraged me to buy from Art First’s show of Simon’s work, Voices from Lost Fields. Simon took me out on a long walk in the fields near his home and showed me ancient marks on bridges and stones that often figure in his work, and he led me to a copse of trees that appear in my work, Landscape of Unease. No copse of trees since has been without that memory and the evocation of lost, and vanishing, fields. On our return Simon made our tea in his small kitchen and while the kettle was coming to the boil my eye fell on a thin sheet of paper lying in a shaft of sunlight on the ironing board. It was the text of a dream loosely written in pencil, curling up like steam in the light. I treasure this memory of a gentle man who dreamed and wrote as eloquently as he made exquisite works of art.

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