Mark Lewis - Pull Focus

Mark Lewis, Nathan Phillips Square, A Winters Night, Skating, 2009
Mark Lewis, Black Mirror at the National Gallery, 2011
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82228
Mark Lewis, City Road 04 May 2012, 2012
Mark Lewis, Outside the National Gallery, 2012
Mark Lewis, 1500 West Georgia, 2012
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82219
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82225
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82244
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82246
Installation View Mark-Lewis Pull-Focus Van Abbemuseum 2013 photo Peter Cox PC82247
exhibition

Mark Lewis Pull Focus

15/06/2013 - 13/10/2013
Curator: Diana Franssen
Artist: Mark Lewis

With the solo exhibition Pull Focus the Van Abbemuseum presents fourteen films by Canadian artist Mark Lewis (1958, Hamilton, Canada). Pull Focus offers an extensive introduction to Lewis’ recent body of work in relation to three films that are already part of the Van Abbemuseum’s collection: Nathan Phillips Square, A Winters Night, Skating (2009); TD Centre, 54th Floor (2009); Forte! (2010). Referencing classic cinematic techniques Pull Focus centres our attention on the image itself. Through his chosen medium Lewis explores the process of film production, which he embeds within the traditions of both photography and art.

Lewis’s work asks us to reconsider the role and effect of looking, by identifying and analysing concentrated moments of modern urban life. Many of his works are set in places where he has lived, such as Vancouver and South London. They are subtle references to the complex and visual forces that determine a contemporary urban environment. The films are often brief and at first glance offer no discernible narrative. Rather, they are depictions of reality, clear and razor sharp. Equally, however, Lewis’s images give pictorial form to universal, recognizable contemporary conditions and therefore ‘the local’ motifs of each of his films speak as much to the experience of everyday modern life as they do to the precise places where the films are made.
Lewis’s work demonstrates the artist’s total investment in his subject matter – the simultaneous specificity and universality of the locations he depicts with their visual traces of the society which inhabit them. These locations and visual traces are at first sight so recognizable that they seem to go un-noticed. But the continued looking that Lewis’s work invites – and subsequently demands – suggests otherwise. These meditative, soundless films demonstrate a commitment to empirical observation in which sensory experience serves as a source of knowledge and recognition.

Works in the exhibition:

- City Road 04 May 2012, 2012
- Forte!, 2010
- TD Centre, 54th Floor, 2009
- Nathan Phillips Square, A Winter's Night, Skating, 2009
- Hendon F.C., 2009
- Black Mirror at the National Gallery, 2011
- Willesden Laundrette; Reverse Dolly, Pan Right, Friday Prayers, 2010
- From Third Beach 2, 2011
- Isosceles, 2007
- Derek Jawgeer, 2013
- Outside the National Gallery, 2011
- 1500 West Georgia, 2012
- Smoker at Spitalfields, 2012
- Beirut, 2011
- Man, 2013
- One Mile, 2013

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