Guy Lyman

Eminences Grises, 2008
House Paint,Acrylic Paint
30 x 40 in
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Artist's Statement: "I had been making some very colorful paintings based on rings or circles that have been very well received and much of that series is already sold, but my forms and brushstrokes began to tighten and feel a little restrained. So I decided to change both the forms and the strokes, and lose a lot of the color, and do something different for awhile. To stop and stretch, in a sense. I stayed with simple forms as in general I am much more interested in surface and color anyway. I had been looking at the work of Philip Guston and a Gary Komarin, and their looseness and unselfconsciousness, and used them as a touchpoint to launch from. There are some very subtle color shifts here that I hope come through in the photography. I used house paint in addition to the usual artists acrylics in order to achieve the flatness I was looking for. Sometime you just can't beat cheap paint. I use professional, sturdy 1.5" stretchers that have a nice deep profile and presence on the wall."

Recent message from a buyer and seasoned collector about a painting in the prior "ring" series: "Love your work. We collect colorists like Wolf Kahn and Jennifer Bartlett, whom I commissioned a piece from that is in the entrance of Mayo Clinic. We are old fans of Morris Louis and we see a Cy Twombly reminiscence in your work, but in a totally new original and fresh perspective in your work. We decided this morning that we would move/give away other work to add your to our collection if it is right for you. Thanks for sharing your talents. " The paintings from this series are selling into prominent collections both in the U.S. and abroad. (On 2018 series by the artist): “These paintings are a refreshing departure from the current abstract art world’s seemingly endless parade of fields of color with scribbles providing form, a style that is easily mimicked and has become a sort of “safe,” accessible go-to. There are confident decisions in these paintings appearing as commitments of strongly delineated forms and unexpected collisions of color that give the work a visceral, confident and playful soul, increasingly missing from contemporary expressionist abstraction. They are the paintings of a real painter rather than a decorative artist.” ArtSeen, 2018.

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.