Lewis creates tender and perceptive portraits of young men that are steeped in a fascination with the possibilities of the figure. Lewis identifies as a gay artist, and his paintings are informed by the climate of queer oppression the artist experienced during his formative years. His perspectives on the body offer a beautifully optimistic and sensitive vision to the viewer.
Gilbert Lewis was born in Hampton, Virginia in 1945. Lewis graduated from Philadelphia College of Art and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1968; both are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include: Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Gilbert Lewis: Many Faces, Many Figures at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Gilbert Lewis: Awkward Tenderness at the William Way LGBT Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Gilbert Lewis: The Mind of Man at Kapp Kapp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Lewis lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has worked for almost twenty years as an art therapist at a retirement home and as a painting instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.