Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) employs arduous methods such as hand sewing, carving, and assemblage to build intricate sculptural portraits and quilts. A self-taught artist, her practice is rooted in healing personal, collective, and historical traumas through labour. The materiality of Lewis’ work is often informed by her surrounding environment: she constructs out of found, gathered, and recycled materials from Toronto, New York, and outside of her family's home in Negril, Jamaica. The transformative act of repurposing these materials recalls practices of resourcefulness in diasporic contexts; upcycling is a recuperative act that reclaims both agency and memory. The portraits themselves reference both individuals in Lewis’ community and imagined ancestors.
Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto Canada) is currently on exhibition at The 59th Venice Biennale and will present a solo exhibition at 52 Walker, New York, NY in 2022. Lewis's solo presentations at Haus Der Kunst, Munich, DE and Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, FR are forthcoming. Lewis has exhibited in several museums and institutions, including National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; MoMA PS1, New York, NY; New Museum, New York, NY; Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK; College Art Galleries, Saskatoon, SK; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON; the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, ON; and the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, ON. Lewis’ work has been acquired to the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library Collection, New York, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, ON; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Miami, FL; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, IA. Lewis currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Solo booth at Frieze New York, 2018