A dynamic new exhibition celebrating the art and life of Margo Lewers (1908 – 1978), the 20th Century Modernist artist opens 18 March at Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest.
A House Full of Paintings, celebrates the power and range of Margo Lewers and is the first curated survey exhibition of her works in over 20 years.The exhibition celebrates the power and range of Margo Lewers in the first curated survey exhibition of her works in over 20 years. Margo worked in a variety of mediums including painting, textiles, sculpture and mosaic, winning her recognition as a leading Postwar Abstract Expressionist.
Margo worked in a variety of mediums including painting, textiles, sculpture and mosaic, winning her recognition as a leading Postwar Abstract Expressionist. A House Full of Paintings includes paintings, collages, mosaics, fabric hangings, and plexiglass sculptures, set amidst the beauty of her original homestead and heritage garden. Also included is a never-before-seen collection of Margo’s collages, as well as her hand-made cards and documentation of her mosaics. The exhibition reflects on a time in the late 1960s when Margo lived alone in her former home, now the Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest. Her husband, the sculptor Gerald Lewers had since passed, and her daughters were grown. As Margo prepared for the first solo exhibition of her work to be held at home in the recently converted Ancher House Gallery, in an interview for an article entitled ‘A House Full of Paintings,’ she set the scene, proclaiming that ‘it’s a house without people, its only inhabitants are paintings.’
Paintings were hung in the kitchen and prints covered the walls in the bathroom. The experience of painting was expanded beyond the frame into the artist’s entire domestic environment, in the form of floor mosaics, interior design, architecture, and Margo’s beloved garden that she designed and maintained well into her later years. It was a curiosity as much as a celebration, as guests wandered through the exhibition spaces, and in and out of buildings and rooms that had housed her family and friends for decades. Half a century later, Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest pays homage as much as to a phenomenal artist as to the power of place, as a site of creative endeavour, experimentation, friendship, and family.
"As the custodians of the largest collection of Lewers’ work – and indeed to her home and gardens – we are thrilled by the opportunity to highlight the artistic experimentation and triumphs that characterised Margo’s life. A House Full of Paintings draws into focus the sheer ambition and breadth of Lewers' practice, and we hope it will provide our audience with an opportunity to reflect on her anachronistic life, lived here in the suburbs of Emu Plains" said Toby Chapman, Director, Visual Arts, Penrith Performing & Visual Arts.
The exhibition runs until 14 May.