Guy Lyman

Still, Waiting, 2022
Oil, Acrylic
36 x 48 in
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Artist's statement:

"Though I am an abstract painter by tradition, I painted this somewhat figurative painting to express the feeling I have developed over the past couple of years (related to Covid in particular). I don't see it as a bleak or depressing painting. "This too shall end," and perhaps has already begun to. But I find myself still anticipating some notable change - as though I am this entombed figure in a sort of holding state, and above ground is a more vital existence that is to return (here, an aqueduct, symbolizing both water and the structure of Western culture that underpins my daily existence, particularly as it relates to art). I believe many others feel this way - in some sense isolated or blocked off from normality, and waiting. Again, I am quite optimistic, and this painting merely records the feeling I think many of us have had over the past couple of years, not just the negative aspect, but also the sense of light at the end of the tunnel (or to mix metaphors: the life that awaits us back above ground).

(On a previous 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.