Coney Island: Boardwalk Idyll

June 29, 2004 - August 21, 2004
Central Library, Lobby Gallery
Coney Island: Boardwalk Idyll

Oil Paintings by Lewis Bryden exploring the eternal summer of adolescence

On the sun-drenched boardwalk, in the cool shadows of an arcade, teenagers are suspended in the most casual of moments in these paintings. In Bryden's hands, the poses of adolescence are charged with a mythic significance. His subjects have been compared to those of American realists such as Bingham, Eakins and Hopper. The painterly technique and textured surface of the paintings recall Post-Impressionists like Seurat.

The Artist

Lewis Bryden was raised in south Florida and has lived in New York since 1973, with 14 of those years spent in Brooklyn. He started the "Boardwalk Idyll" series in 1980. "Perhaps the fascination was because of the resemblances to the beaches of Florida combined with the gritty realities of the big city, or perhaps it was the cosmopolitan mix of people who come to enjoy themselves in such a public place," Bryden muses. "In any case, I use the great diversity of people and architectural settings in Coney Island as constant inspiration."

On exhibiting at BPL, Bryden recalls his own adolescence. "I have always felt there was a connection between art and libraries. When I was growing up in Florida, we lived across the street from the library of the Society of the Four Arts. True to its name, it had a wonderful collection of books about art. I pondered over every art book they had, but also spent hours reading the novels and dramas and histories found on the shelves. Next door was the art gallery of the same society, so I have the two associated in my mind. Art and books in the same place, what could be more natural?"

Lewis Bryden worked as an architect for a number of years before becoming an artist full time. He has exhibited in several New York galleries, and his work is featured in books such as The Artist and the American Landscape by John Driscoll, Changing Prospects by Marianne Doezema and Paintings of New England by Carl Little.

For additional info regarding paintings and prices, please contact:
c/o Willendorf Division
718-369-9385 ext. 155

Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from The Greenwall Foundation.