Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) employs arduous methods such as hand sewing, carving, and assemblage to build intricate sculptural portraits and quilts. A self-taught artist, her practice is rooted in healing personal, collective, and historical traumas through labour. The materiality of Lewis’ work is often informed by her surrounding environment: she constructs out of found, gathered, and recycled materials from Toronto, New York, and outside of her family’s home in Negril, Jamaica. The transformative act of repurposing these materials recalls practices of resourcefulness in diasporic contexts; upcycling is a recuperative act that reclaims both agency and memory. The portraits themselves reference both individuals in Lewis’ community and imagined ancestors.

Lewis will be included in upcoming exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, and Prospect 5, New Orleans.  She has previously exhibited at international museums including Oakville Galleries, Oakville (2020); the Hepworth Wakefield, UK (2019); College Art Galleries, Saskatoon (2019); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (2018); the New Museum, New York (2017); the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga (2017); MoMA PS1, New York (2017); and the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (2017). She has also exhibited in artist-run spaces including Mercer Union, Toronto (2018); Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg (2017); Gallery 44, Toronto (2017), and 8-11, Toronto (2017) and galleries such as Jeffrey Stark, New York (2019), Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles (2019); Shoot the Lobster, New York (2018), Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2017), and Cooper Cole, Toronto (2017). Lewis currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CV

Tau Lewis

Born 1993, Toronto, Canada
Lives and works in Toronto, Canada

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
           
2020

Triumphant Alliance of the Ubiquitous Blossoms of Incarnate Souls, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada
S
parkle’s Map Home, Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada

2019            

When you last found me here, College Art Galleries University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
I’m countin’ on you to ground me again, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
I heard a heartbeat down in the black hole, Cordova, Barcelona, Spain

2018

I bet this cave has been here for a really long time, Shoot the Lobster, New York, USA
When last you found me here, The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Canada
Cheyenne Julien and Tau Lewis, Chapter NY, New York, USA
Making it work to be together while we can, Jeffrey Stark, New
York, USA
Tau Lewis, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, USA

2017

Through the people we are looking at ourselves, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada
cyphers, tissue, blizzards, exile, 8-11 Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016
foraged, ain’t free, The Pendulum Project, Studio 223a, Toronto,
Canada


Selected Group Exhibits

2021
Yesterday we said tomorrow, Prospect 5, New Orleans,
USA (Forthcoming)
Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA (Forthcoming)
Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, USA (Forthcoming)

2020
Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK (Forthcoming)
Liminal States, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, Germany

2019

Yorkshire Sculpture International, The Hepworth Wakefield, London, UK            

People, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, USA

2018

Ragga NYC x Mercer Union, Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada
Yard Show, curated by Marcus Jahmal, Shrine Gallery, New York,
USA

2017      

Unmasked, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
In Pursuit of the Perfect Rose, Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada
Ragga NYC x MoMa PS1: Back to School, MoMa PS1, New York, USA
Entering the Landscape, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art,
Winnipeg, Canada
Migrating the Margins, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Canada
True Lies, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Red Hills of Lardossa, Down & Ross, New York, USA
CAN’T TOUCH THIS, Mulherin New York, USA
Ragga NYC: All the threatened and delicious things joining one
another, New Museum, New York, USA
DOORED 29, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
The Un-Othered Body, OCAD Graduate Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016      

Open House, Sleep Center, New York, USA
Fresh Constructions, Katzman Contemporary in collaboration with
YTB Gallery, Toronto, Canada
PRISMATIC, The Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada
Future 33, Younger than Beyoncé Gallery, Toronto, Canada
BODY TALK, Project Gallery Studios, 184 Munro St, Toronto,
Canada
Massive Party 2016: Midnight Massive, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Nice Pile of Bricks, 950 Dupont (House of Vans), Toronto, Canada
DON’T CARE ABOUT LOSING, 1287 Dupont, Toronto, Canada
2015 GHOST HOLE VII, Jam Factory Co., Toronto, Canada
Bad Girls Club, 116 Geary Ave, Toronto, Canada
Carbon Paper Issue #4 launch, 8-11 Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Women In Music and Arts, Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, Toronto, Canada
Massive Party 2015: HOTBED, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto,
Canada

2014

TAVES 2014, Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Canada
This Is Not For You, Brockton Collective, Toronto, Canada
This Is Not For You, Creatures Creating, Toronto, Canada
This Is Not For You, Edward Day Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Art Fairs

2020 Frieze London, with Cooper Cole (online)

2019 Art Basel Miami Beach, with Cooper Cole (Solo Booth)

2018 Frieze New York, with Cooper Cole (Solo Booth)

NADA Miami, with Cooper Cole

2017 NADA Miami, with Cooper Cole

Spring Break Art Fair, with Mulherin New York

Collaborations

2016          

Art Toronto MOCA Benefit Edition, Fourth Floor with Tau, Portrait, collaboration with Jeff Bierk, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada
Performance Night curated by Tau Lewis, with performances by Kiera Boult, Jazmine VK Carr, Danièle Dennis, Erika De Freitas and Jazmyn Fyffe, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

Artists talks / Panels

2020 ‘Magic in Limitation’ Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Tau Lewis, DLD Conference, Munich, Germany

2019 ‘Is sculpture the most anthropological of the art forms? Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK

MFA artist talk at Western University, London, ON.

2018 MFA artist talk at New York University, New York, USA
BFA artist talk at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
Artist talk at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
Art and Black Canada, with Charmaine Lurch and Yaniya Lee, moderated by Katherine Mckittrick, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
Tau Lewis in conversation with Katherine Mckittrick, Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada
Artist Talk at OCAD University for “Crit Club”, Toronto, Canada

2017 Triangle Trade Conversations, artist talk with Charmaine Lurch, mediated by Yaniya Lee, Gallery TPW, Toronto , Canada
In Pursuit of the Perfect Rose, panel discussion with Rajni Perera, Rah, Dalia Amara, and Shellie Zhang, mediated by Leila Fatemi, Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada
Entering the Landscape, panel discussion with Rajni Perera, Rah, Dalia Amara and Shelie Zhang, mediated by Jenifer Papararo, and Sarah Nesbitt, Plug in ICA, Winnipeg, Canada
Magic in Limitation (Sculpting with found objects), Plug in ICA, Winnipeg, Canada
The Hallmark of Tolerance, panel discussion with Ayisha Gariba, Alaana Butler, Gyimah Gariba and Huda Hassan, University of Toronto, Canada
The (Un)Othered Body, panel discussion with Oreka James, Dainesha
Nugent-Palache and Mariam Magsi, mediated by Jessica Karuhanga, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

Black cultural appropriation vs. reclamation, panel discussion with Lou Boileau, mediated by Sheniece Cater, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

Tau Lewis in Conversation with Yaniya Lee, artist talk in conjunction with
cyphers, tissue, blizzards, exile, 8-11 Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016 City Limits, panel discussion with Karimah Gheddai, mediated by Sydney
Allen-Ash, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

Sorry, Not Sorry, panel discussion with Merray Gerges, mediated by
Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Workshops

2019 Quilt making workshop with Thorncliffe Public School, Toronto,

Canada

2018 Portrait workshop with Wide Rainbow Organization, Jacob Riis

Neighborhood Settlement, Queens, NY

Quilt making with Roots and Wings Foundation Part 2, The Agnes

Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Canada
Costume making workshop inspired by Rammellzee’s Garbage

Gods, with Abrons Arts Center Kids Summer Camp. Redbull Arts, 

New York, USA
Quilt making with Roots and Wings Foundation, The Agnes

Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Canada
2017 Magic in Limitation (Sculpting with found objects), Plug In ICA,

Winnipeg, Canada

Select Press

2020 Reid, Tiana. “Groundations” Canadian Art Online, September 14

Valentine, Victoria L. “‘Tau Lewis: Sparkle’s Map Home’at Oakville

Galleries in Ontario” Culture Type

Mohamed, Maandeeq, “Sparkle’s Map Home: Tau Lewis at Oakville

Galleries” C Magazine, Issue 146, p. 52-53

Miller, Earl. “Crossovers: Tau Lewis” Border Crossings, vol. 39, no.2, issue
154

2019 Reid, Tiana. “Tiana Reid on Landscape and the Figural in the

Sculptures of Tau Lewis” Flash Art

Long, Louise. “Yorkshire gears up for a new sculpture festival”

Wallpaper

Harris, Gareth. “Critic’s Pick of Yorkshire Sculpture International”

The Art Newspaper

“The Artist Making Low-Cost and Eco-Friendly Sculptures: Inter

view with Tau Lewis” Elephant

“Interview with artist Tau Lewis at The Hepworth Wakefield” York

shire Sculpture International

Goodden, Sky. “With stuffed dolls and hidden talismans, artist Tau

Lewis conjures a space to address the Black Diaspora’s legacy –

and its future” Art Basel

Goodden, Sky. “The Future Wandering of Tau Lewis” Momus

Walker, Julie. “The Black Artists You Should Know at Basel” Paper

Magazine

2018 Halio, Grace. “Frieze New York awards 2018 Frieze Fram Prize to

Cooper Cole” ARTnews

Lee, Yaniya. “A Conversation with Tau Lewis” Canadian Art Maga

zine

“Cheyenne Julien and Tau Lewis” The New Yorker

Asimakis, Magdalyn. “Tau Lewis: I bet this cave has been here for 

a really long time” Brooklyn Rail

2017 Asimakis, Magdalyn. “All the threatened and delicious things join ing one another” Brooklyn Rail

Trouillot, Terence. “The Story behind RAGGA NYC, The Caribbean,

Queer Collective Seizing the Spotlight at the New Museum” ArtNet

Whyte, Murray. “Tau Lewis: Of Roots and Uprooting” Toronto Star

Hampton, Chris. “It’s become a sort of therapy: sculptor Tau 

Lewis makes dolls to recapture self-love and caring” CBC

Whyte, Murray. “Tau Lewis and Curtis Santiago explore their Black Canadian identity at Cooper Cole” Toronto Star

Moser, Gabrielle. “Tau Lewis and Curtis Santiago” ArtForum

Dick, Terence. “Through the people we are looking at ourselves”

Akimbo

Publications

2017 Everything is a time capsule, published by Magenta Foundation

Residencies

2017 New Museum, with RAGGA NYC, New York, USA
2018 Stone Croft Artist Residency, Queen’s University, Kingston, CA
2020 Bed Stuy Artist Residency, Brooklyn, USA

Awards / Grants

2019 Exhibition Assistance to Visual Artists, Canada Arts Council

Project Grants to Visual Artists, Canada Arts Council

2018 Frieze Frame Stand Prize, solo presentation with Cooper Cole, Frieze New York 2018
Exhibition Assistance for Visual Artists, Third Space Art Projects, Ontario Arts Council

2017 William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists, The Hynastyshyn Foundation, Ottawa, Canada
Emerging Visual Artists Grant, Toronto Arts Council
Exhibition Assistance for Visual Artists, (Third Space Art Projects), Ontario Arts Council

Exhibition Assistance for Visual Artists, (The Power Plant Contemporary), Ontario Arts Council

2016 Emerging Visual Artists Grant, Toronto Arts Council

Collections

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library Collection, New York, USA

National Gallery of Canada, Library and Archives, Ottawa, Canada

Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, USA

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada

LOADING

Back to top