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Chinese landscape art shapes American painter's vision

Updated: 2015-07-28 10:33:40

( China Daily )

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Eight Views: Pink Mountain features the influence of Chinese ink painting on US artist Ross Lewis.[Photo provided to China Daily]

In his series, he applied masking tape on one side of hemp paper to create the impression of mountains and trees. He then dabbed acrylic paint on both sides of the paper and finally removed the pieces of tape. It resulted in a velvet-like feel while retaining the tranquility of a classical masterpiece.

Lewis shows an even bolder attitude in the rope paintings that he has devoted his recent years to. In them, he replaced the brush with rope to work on thick paper, which is usually used for watercolor. Also, he has added the techniques of collage and tearing to share his personal memories and illusions with viewers.

Visitors to the exhibition should take a close look at Lewis' inked ropes to understand how his artworks were created. The painter uses ropes of various textures, made of different materials. Underlying his rope paintings is the time-consuming process in which Lewis saturated different ropes and scraped them on the paper to test the effects.

Shen Kuiyi, the exhibition's curator, says Lewis' innovative approach has given the shanshui genre a modern interpretation.

"The intersection of concrete images and abstract lines in his works, together with the drama of unexpected perspectives, creates a strongly contemporary feeling," Shen says.

"The rope art has opened a chapter in his artistic exploration, in which he is able to balance between perfection and incompleteness."

To Lewis, art is what "one lives for".

"When we have accumulated knowledge of and feelings for art, we don't have to listen to someone else, but our hearts," the artist says.

If you go

10 am-6 pm, through Aug 4. Today Art Museum, Building 4, Pingod Community, 32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-5876-0600.


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