Stephen Friedman Gallery Now Represents Tau Lewis

Tau Lewis is a Jamaican-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto and New York. Alex Greenberger and Tessa Solomon (ArtNews) reports that she is now represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery in London.

Stephen Friedman Gallery in London now represents Canadian artist Tau Lewis. A self-taught artist, Lewis employs carving, assemblage, and hand-sewing to construct intricate sculptural portraits and quilts. Referring to her artistic practice as “an upcycling of a circumstance,” she reconfigures found objects as conduits between real and imagined ancestors. She currently has a solo show on view at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Later this year, her work will be featured in group exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Sadie Coles in London, and Prospect.5 in New Orleans.

Artist’s Bio (excerpts from AGNES, Queens University): [. . .] Tau Lewis’ self-taught practice is rooted in healing personal, collective and historical traumas through labour. She employs methods of construction such as hand sewing, carving and assemblage to build portraits. She considers the history and symbolism of each material, exploring the political boundaries of nature, identity and authenticity. Her work is bodily and organic, with an explicit strangeness. The materiality of Lewis’ work is often informed by her surrounding environment; she constructs out of found objects and repurposed materials, as well as live plants and organisms sourced from urban and rural landscapes. She connects these acts of repurposing and collecting with diasporic experience. Her portraits are recuperative gestures that investigate black identity and agency, memory and recovery.

Lewis’s recent works consider the undocumented, sometimes inaccessible historical information centres of black life such as the oceans, forests, and deep underground spaces; her figures are often coloured and textured to mimic the oceans, earth, and cosmos. Lewis uses animal and insect imagery as playful and ironic references to the demarcation of black bodies as separate from other genres of being human. Infused with personal belongings, found objects and material markers of time, each portrait is an energetically charged microcosm of memory, the unreal, unbelonging and bulletproof characters of an imaginary landscape realized through sculpture. [. . .]

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