Marquis Duriel Lewis aka RETNA
Marquis Duriel Lewis aka RETNA
DALLAS, TX (October 4, 2019) The first Dallas solo exhibition by Marquis Duriel Lewis aka RETNA entitled Dovetail Mortises & La Peluca Grande will premiere at The Goss-Michael Foundation on Thursday, October 10 and run through Saturday, November 9.
An opening reception will be held at The Goss-Michael Foundation, 1305 Wycliff Ave, Suite 120, on Thursday, October 10, from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. The public is invited; please RSVP for tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/retna-exhibition-opening-tickets-73300964157
The show, presented by The Goss-Michael Foundation in partnership with Artrinity, has been curated by Max Trowbridge, co-founder and director, Artrinity.
For those familiar with the graffiti-style artwork synonymous with RETNA’s career, it comes as no surprise that Marquis Duriel Lewis (aka RETNA) craves a creative escape from the very signature of canvas work that catapulted his artistic career.
This exhibition, specifically titled under his full name, Marquis Duriel Lewis, and not RETNA, which is the name associated with his text-based work — showcases his recent paintings of abstract expressionism and portraiture both on canvas and paper. Lewis departs from graffiti and relinquishes his talent to paint with raw intensity, which transcends his vocabulary of calligraphy and continues his evolution as a fine artist.
With profoundly turbulent creativity, Lewis oscillates between the torment of genius and self-awareness, as he alienates himself from text-based work to the challenge of working in a looser method. Inspired by his recent art teachings with young children, Lewis has internalized a childlike approach to his art, allowing for creative freedom.
Lewis describes his latest works: “They come with a fascination of wanting to be like a child or wanting to paint like one. I’ve been trying to paint like them ever since I’ve been working with them, and I’ve found it very difficult. They have this absolute freedom, and they don’t have these restrictions that we put on ourselves as adults with all our emotional baggage. I’ve become very linear with the text-based work, it has to look a certain way. And every time I would paint with these kids they would just have this looseness, they have this amazing ability to just be loose, to be free. It took me a very long time to get there.”
Lewis’ portrait subject matter, however, is anything but childlike, depicting known powerful figureheads, La Peluca Grande, the big wigs are portrayed as either friend or foe. Each painting vibrates with emotion, committing the viewer to an intensely personal relationship with the portrait, an abstract interpretation of personality with lashings of vigorous loose brushstrokes and markings that depict cultural references known to Lewis about his subjects.
In totality, the exhibition debuts his new series of large canvas works including smaller paintings as works on paper, along with his widely recognized large text-based works that RETNA admirers will crave to view. Also, Lewis reflects from the past with his passion for fashion photography — fashion billboards were his original canvas. By adding nostalgia with new digital techniques, Lewis merges his Brimstone style with photography in a small collection of fashion-focused prints.
Art in the show is for sale with a portion of the sales going to the educational programming at The Goss-Michael Foundation.
“RETNA is extremely relevant in today’s art scene and is most widely known as an American street artist. This new body of work is a truly beautiful show of expressionism and portraiture, shown for the first time at The Goss-Michael Foundation under his full name, Marquis Duriel Lewis,” said Kenny Goss, co-founder, The Goss-Michael Foundation.
“I’ve followed RETNA’s work for years, so when I was introduced to Marquis this summer, I jumped at the chance to work with him and to bring his latest body of work to Dallas at The Goss-Michael Foundation,” Max Trowbridge, co-founder and director, Artrinity.
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