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Artist Tony Lewis: On Art and Poetry
Join artist Tony Lewis and Hirshhorn curator Betsy Johnson to discuss how drawing and poetry can be tools to challenge important issues of our time.

In an ever-expanding engagement with drawing, Tony Lewis harnesses the medium of graphite powder to confront social and political topics, including race, power, communication, and labor. Lewis’ Anthology 2014–2016, a suite of thirty-four original collage-poems, is the focus of a forthcoming catalogue. Exhibited at the Hirshhorn for the first time in its entirety in Spring 2018, and now part of the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, this series of evocative black-and-white works draws on an unlikely source: Calvin and Hobbes comic books. Lewis, part of an exciting generation of artists working to collapse the boundaries between disparate art forms, has quickly established himself in the contemporary art world by forming a distinct visual vocabulary that integrates poetry and text with the properties of abstraction. His monochromatic drawings pull from various visual and written sources, ranging from the personal to the political. Separating, rearranging, and erasing text, he shifts the way we read to open up new and unexpected meanings.

Tony Lewis: Anthology 2014-2016 features essays by internationally renowned artist Theaster Gates and Betsy Johnosn, as well as a visual essay by artist Karl Haendel. The book will be released in 2023 and will be available for purchase online and in person through the Hirshhorn store.


7:50 pm EST | Zoom broadcast opens

8 pm EST | Tony Lewis in conversation with Betsy Johnson

ASL translation will be provided on Zoom and CART (real-time captioning) will be provided across all platforms. If you have any questions about accessibility for this program, please email hirshhornexperience@si.edu.

Feb 15, 2023 08:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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