Martin Lewis, “Bredford Street Gang”, 1935, Drypoint and Sandpaper Ground Printed in Black Ink on Wove Paper, Plate Size: 22.5 x 36.2 cm, Detroit Instute of Arts
Martin Lewis is considered one of the greatest American printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century. He used his superb sense of composition and his technical skill as a master printmaker to create images of New York City and rural Connecticut that are as captivating today as they were in the late 1920’s when he was first recognized as an important artist.
Lewis, a maker of archetypal American art, was an immigrant, born and educated in Australia, who came to this country in 1900. He had become by 1915 a skilled printmaker who shared his knowledge of etching with his friend, Edward Hopper. Lewis was one of the first printmakers to sell out an edition of a print during an exhibition, and many of his etchings and drypoints sold out in a few months. After the artist’s death in 1962, print collectors continued to appreciate his sensuous works of art, which have remained relatively unknown to the general public.
Martin Lewis spent most of his life living in New York City after arriving from Australia. However, he did travel to Europe and lived briefly in Japan and rural Connecticut. After the artist’s death in 1962, print collectors continued to appreciate his sensuous works of art, which have remained relatively unknown to the general public.