Martin Lewis was one of Australia’s premiere printmakers. Lewis was born in Victoria but moved to Sydney as a young man. In Sydney, Lewis started his artist training, taking classes and living in a creative community.
Glow of the City. 1929. Drypoint
Late Traveler, 1949. Drypoint
In 1900 Lewis left Australia and headed to the United States. While Lewis’s first US destination was San Francisco, by 1909 Lewis had crossed the country and settled in New York City. Manhattan provided Lewis with plenty of inspiration and became the subject of most of his etchings and drypoint prints. For several decades, Lewis drew New York street scenes, especially night scenes with dramatic light and shadow. Lewis’s prints are treasured by New Yorkers, who are able to glimpse into their city’s past.
Shadow Dance. 1930. Drypoint
Circus Night. Drypoint Etching
Lewis also spent several years living in Connecticut during the Great Depression. During these years he drew rural landscapes, though he still had a fascination with night scenes.
East Side Night, Williamsburg Bridge. 1928. Etching
Lewis’s are not only show a mastery of the intaglio process but serve to document New York in the first decades of the 20th century.