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Sold at Auction: Dennis Lewis

(1928-)

Biography

Born in Bristol, 2 April 1928. Left School at 14. Encouraged to work in lithographic printing but soon discovered that his true vocation was art. A five year artist apprenticeship required at least two years full time art school training to start, so Dennis took himself to art college in the evenings until called up in the Glosters in `48. After serving in Jamaica and British Honduras in Intelligence and Education Section he returned to his old firm John Lee & Son who were now incorporated into Bennett Brothers (Counterslip) one of the major Master Printers of Bristol.

The Art Studio, Manager and Artists saw Dennis`s work and voted him into The Society of Lithographic Artists on a special shortened apprenticeship. That was in 1948. Other apprentices to join Studio later were Mike Rummings, Bob Payne and Derek Balmer (RWA President).

In1951 Dennis married Maggie and were blessed with three creatively gifted children. Dennis painted whenever possible but sought wider design experience and in 1955 joined Bro. Sav. John Floyd’s Studio, Decor Advertising, which specialised in Silk Screen Printing and Exhibition Display. Then in 1957 Dennis doubled his salary by being appointed Assistant Studio Manager at Ford`s Advertising, a reconstructed group from another of Bristol’s Master Printers, A. W. Ford & Son with Studios in London and Manchester and a huge variation in work.

Dennis spent the next 34 years in his element progressing through the Company to Studio Manager, Creative Director. Company Director and in the eighties as Group Chairman of what was now an international design group. Ken Cooke joined Ford`s around 1960 and introduced Dennis to the Savages. Over the years Ken and Dennis also introduced Pete Harrison, Brian Lancaster and Bernard Hawkins.

Dennis has exhibited in every Savage exhibition since 1963. He was elected an Associate Academician of the RWA in 1966 and full Academician in 1970. He has served on the Council, Selection Committee and Marketing Group amongst other duties. His work has been hung in every Annual Exhibition since the early 60s.As with the Savages he has taken part in many associated shows as well. In l970 Dennis was granted Associateship of The Society of Industrial Artists and was honoured with a Fellowship in Design in 1986.

Dennis retired in 1990 to paint most days at his studio at Portishead. He has had 10 one-man exhibitions, had work accepted by the RA and worked on chosen commissions, (i.e. large format VIP portrait, a 5 metre long mural of the Channel etc.) He believes that art does not only exist as paint in a frame but is all around us if we look.

Favourite artist, Marcel Deauchamp . Dennis Lewis specialises in painting in a wide variety of styles, subject sizes, and media, whatever means best expresses the creative concept . Other interests: interior design, conservation, American folk art. At Savages he campaigns to conserve our sketch collection and is pleased to be involved in the new House Style and Centenary tie Design. Academician of The Royal West of England Academy, Fellow of The Chartered Society of Designers, Life Member Bristol Savages (joined 1963), President 1973 1980 1990 1963). (D.L)
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