Martin Lewis (American, 1881 – 1962)

Lewis was born in Australia and briefly studied art in Sydney’s Julian Ashton School. Otherwise, he was mostly self-taught having been obsessed with drawing from an early age. In 1900 Lewis left his native land for America and eventually settled in New York which was to become his home and major source of artistic inspiration for the rest of his life. It was 1915 before Lewis created his first print which was so successful that Edward Hopper asked Lewis to teach him etching. Lewis “worked occasionally in mezzotint and aquatint, intaglio techniques that render tones more easily than drypoint, but he preferred the crisp high contrast linearity of drypoint for his studies of light and movement…. One reason for Lewis’s creativity with drypoint was his imaginative use of the burnisher. His early work with mezzotint gave him a sense of its possibilities, and he often drew with the burnisher the way he drew with the needle.”

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