Lewis Folden


Lewis Folden

Lewis Folden is a visual artist and scenic designer living in Manhattan. Originally from the West Coast, he was transplanted east to pursue an MFA at Yale and a subsequent career in theatre. He has taught scenic design on the university level and designed professionally for a large number of regional theatres, ballet and opera companies including Washington DC's Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and Theatre J; Philadelphia's Peoples' Light & Theatre Co., Freedom Theatre and The Arden Theatre; Minneapolis' Children's Theatre; Buffalo's Studio Arena; Norfolk's Virginia Stage; and others. He has extensive dance design experience including The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and the Boston, Miami City, and Pittsburgh Ballets. His art work is informed by his scenic training and practices, relying heavily on use of textures and spatial illusion, and it has been displayed in a large number of solo and group exhibitions in Washington DC and New York.


I think of my artwork not just as a means of personal expression, but as a way to share with others, my delight and excitement in the things I find around me - in particular their spiritual nature. I revel in the discovery of apparently insignificant items, textures, colors, shapes, etc. and collect them constantly -- both physically and in memory. Frequently I do not know exactly what inspires me about something and it can be quite elusive to define - an idea, a function, an association, a color, a resonance - and it can be about contrasts or conjunctions. These minutiae are the seeds of my creative work.

While my paintings usually tend toward abstract characteristics I find interesting, my assemblages explore those tiny and subtle qualities of each item compared or contrasted to those of another in the work. Each then relates in some small way to yet another which may relate to yet another in still a different manner. The resonances might be clear and loud, or they may be apparent only to me, the artist. These qualities can include purpose, function, spiritual nature, or other more esoteric attributes, while aesthetically technical relationships to one another within the grouping are also an ingredient -- colors connect, positions relate to each other, and materials have quixotic juxtapositions in both the physical and metaphysical realms. No surprise that these things pop up in my painting too.


b. 1948, Tacoma, WA
Lives and works in New York, US

  • 1977Yale School of Drama, MFA
West Chelsea Gallery District
New York, NY 10001