Private collection, United Kingdom
Lewis’s work, which has been acquired by collectors and royalty, and features in many public collections, has become more abstract as he has grown older, though he thinks it remains recognisably his.
To Lewis, the cat has been both a muse and a métier, with different species reflecting different aspects of his work. ‘For me, the big cats are symbolic of wilderness,’ he says, ‘but they also hold that place within the human imagination. I’ve spent a lot of time in wilderness space tracking them, watching them, sketching them, trying to capture what it felt like to be in their presence, what it is like to be in their environments.’
Dylan Lewis was born in 1964 and raised in an artistic family in South Africa. His father was an accomplished sculptor, his mother and his grandmother were painters, and two great-grandfathers were an architect and cabinetmaker, respectively. Lewis initially followed in the family tradition, beginning his career as a painter, but later turned to sculpture. Widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost sculptors of the animal form, he initially focused on the big cats; in recent years, he has used the human figure to explore our relationship with our inner wilderness. His international career spans two decades and includes exhibitions in Paris, Sydney, Toronto, Houston and San Francisco, as well as numerous one-man exhibitions in London, where he is among the few living artists to have held solo auctions at Christie’s London.