MARTIN LEWIS

1881 Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia – New York 1962

We can offer a large collection of over 100 prints by Martin Lewis. The collection includes all the iconic and best-known prints as well as many great rarities. It further comprises a sampling of canceled plates, a group of drawings and one large gouache. The collection is to be sold en bloc.

For further inquiries please email armin (at) cgboerner.com or call us at 212 772 7330.

Shadow Magic 1939


drypoint on wove paper; 342 x 240 mm (13 ½ x 9 ½ inches)

signed in pencil at lower right

McCarron 126 only state; 34 recorded impressions

A fine impression in pristine condition.

Here the faintly sinister atmosphere of Lewis’s suburban American Nocturne of two years earlier (see the previous cat. no.) has turned positively creepy in this apparently more urban scene, one in which the artist combines realistic detail within an abstract composition defined by dramatic distinctions between areas of light and shade. The small boy silhouetted against the chain-link fence is dwarfed by the looming lines of shadow cast on the gas tank behind him. Lewis used similar lines in both his oil painting Shadow Pattern (ca. 1928) and his etching The Boyfriends of 1927 (McCarron 61). His record book shows that he originally planned to call this print “Black Magic, Gashouse District,” before deciding on the title above. Lewis also noted that the print won the James Taylor Arms Prize at the 24th National Arts Club exhibition in December 1939. On one of the three preparatory drawings for this print, found in his wife Lucile’s inventory, Lewis had inscribed “Euclide alone has looked on beauty bare,” the first line of the sonnet by the American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950; see McCarron, p. 216, and cat. London, American Scene, p. 101).