Combining elements of photography, sculpture, frottage, ink, and graphite drawings, Nate Lewis's intricately carved works on paper reflect his experience as a critical-care nurse in Washington DC and challenge perspectives on race and history.
Treating the paper as an organism, he sculpts patterns and textures akin to cellular tissue and uncovers anatomies of photographed subjects. "Interacting with images is an act of care," Lewis explains. "I explore and question the history of the subject, mirroring the abilities of diagnostic lenses in my language of seeing and listening. The textures and patterns I create resonate with the rhythms and sounds I listen to."
His latest series, Latent Tapestries, is to go on display at Fridman Gallery, his first solo show in New York City, opening on 1 March and running until 5 April 5, 2020. The exhibition will also include new works in Lewis's ongoing Signaling series depicting black figures in motion. There'll also be a new body of work, Probing the Land – an examination of Confederate monuments and street scenes from Trump's campaign rallies and the inauguration.
"Memories and truths are locked inside these monuments, as well as a spirit of discord,” Lewis says. "The monuments, themselves, are symbols of differing views of what we celebrate or lament."
Avant-garde jazz musicians Melanie Charles, Ben Lamar Gay, Kassa Overall, Matana Roberts, and Luke Stewart have created compositions that will play during the show, in a syncopated call-and-response rhythm resonating with Lewis's textures and patterns.