Tony Lewis, recipient of the 2017-2018 Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence award, discusses his practice and Foster stairwell installation, 'Plunder'.
In October, Chicago-based artist Tony Lewis (b. 1986) created a site-specific drawing for the outward-facing wall of the Rose Art Museum's Lois Foster Wing. Extending his investigations of the relationships between drawing, abstraction, and language, Lewis made this mural—the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the Northeast—with the help of Brandeis University students. Using screws and graphite-dipped rubber bands, Lewis and his collaborators generated a large line drawing in the form of a Gregg shorthand notation, the stenographic script similar to abbreviated cursive. Rising in loose arcs across the expanse of the Foster wall, the drawing is an abstracted symbol of the word "plunder," from which the work takes its name. Plunder will remain on view through June 2018.
The Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence Award is part of the Rose’s longstanding tradition of promoting young artists. Honorees include Roxy Paine (2002), Barry McGee (2004), Xavier Veilhan (2005), Dana Schutz (2006), Clare Rojas (2007), Alexis Rockman (2008), Michael Dowling (2009-10), Sam Jury (2011), Dor Guez (2012), Mika Rottenberg (2013-2014), Mary Weatherford (2015), JJ PEET (2016), and Jennie C. Jones (2017). Nathan Perlmutter served as national director of the Anti-Defamation League for eight years. Along with his wife, Ruth Ann, he championed the interfaith movement and sought to empower Jews, blacks and other minorities. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 1987, shortly before his death. He was a vice president at Brandeis from 1969-73. Ruth Ann, who has degrees from the University of Denver and Wayne State University, is a noted sculptor and painter.
View our press release for more information on the Perlmutter award.