Guy Lyman

Lost Languages #5, 2021
Lacquer, Charcoal and Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 24 in
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(Note: sorry about the large pic of the full painting; could not get the light right, without reflections from the varnish; in person the negative space is less brownish, lighter. The secondary pics are more accurate). Artist’s Statement: “After working on my 'Gridish' series for awhile, I went back to revisit a series of work I did in 2020, where I was putting down successive layers of paint in a process of simultaneous addition and subtraction. As so often happens upon revisiting an earlier way of painting, the work took on a new appearance while still quoting where it evolved from. There is more drawing in these and a bit more formal rigor, among other differences. Making these paintings is a series of small decisions that involves taking them to a certain stage, then walking way and coming back later to see them freshly and determine what to do next. It’s never simple to do. The paintings in the earlier series had been selling here in New Orleans before I was able to list them, so I was pulling out select ones to show only online, so that collectors of my work elsewhere and new folks got a chance to see them. There are not many left from that series, unfortunately. I am going to upload these new ones directly as they're finished."

(On prior 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.