Guy Lyman

Aggregate #4, 2020
Charcoal,Pastel,Acrylic Paint,Oil Paint
40 x 30 in
$1,280
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I began this series after being inspired by a passage of pastel in a painting that was very different from this, and playing around with altering the quality of the line by drawing more sharply or broadly, smearing, and mixing with water and acrylic. The colors are bright and tend towards the decorative, but the black and more acid colors keep these pictures from being too "pretty." There is also the roughness of the strokes to militate against the merely decorative. Some of the circular forms are fading, others are coming forward, depending both on color, lightness and sharpness of articulation. So there is a lot of push-pull tension here. You can't make this kind of painting without somehow referencing Cy Twombly, either directly or through his influence on others. But there's also Ida Kohlmeyer, the most famous modernist painter from New Orleans. I find her "heiroglyphs" a little too tight and contrived for my taste, but she was great with color which brought verve to the random forms she worked with in her later and most popular paintings.


I have been painting for about 30 years, since before I was a dealer. I always was and remain most drawn to so-called “painterly” painters, whose interest is less in the formal aspects of painting than in the paint itself, and signs of the artist’s hand in its application. Initially I was drawn to paintings from the magical period between New York Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine and Cy Twombly. In the Eighties, it was New York neo-Expressionists such as Julian Schnabel, Terry Winters and Donald Baechler. As you can see, in the past few years my paintings have become more formal, but you can still see a lot of the hand in them. I grew up in New Orleans, lived in various places in the U.S. and Europe, then returned to "the Big Easy" to open my Magazine Street gallery, which I sold in 2017 before moving my art business entirely online. I still enjoy meeting fellow art collectors and painters when they visit New Orleans.