Trained in literary criticism, dance and philosophy, Isabel Lewis works on the aesthetics of the experiential, creating spaces of sociable encounter between human and nonhuman agents in the format she has named the 'hosted occasion'. Her occasions, described as celebratory meetings of things, people, plants, music, smells and dances, give rise to a heightened experience of sociality where the sensual and the intellectual are inseparable.
Lewis’ shows include Occasions (Dark Creatrix), commissioned by Tate Modern for the BMW Live Exhibition Ten Days Six Nights (2017); Tasmanian Occasions and Hosting Place for Dark Mofo, Contemporary Arts Tasmania, Hobart, Australia (2017); An Occasion Hosted by Isabel Lewis with Rita McBride’s Arena Seatings, Klöntal Triennale, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2017); Occasions and Other Occurrences, commissioned by Dia Art Foundation, New York (2016); The Occasion of an Evening in Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2016); Occasion, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2015); The Occasion of an Evening in Gothenburg, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, Sweden (2015); An occasion in Sefton Park Palm House, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (2015) and Strange Action (2009), commissioned by PS122, New York (2010).
Lewis is the author of ‘On Occasion’, in herbst. Theorie zur Praxis 2017: Das Magazin zum steirischen herbst (2017); ‘Improvisation and/as Open Source version 1.2’, in Movement Research Performance Journal #29 (2005) and Comics as Liquid Architecture: The Nonlinear Narrative Form in Canon of Contemporary Storytelling (Hollins University Press, 2003).
Born in 1981 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she currently lives and works in Berlin.