Guy Lyman

Superimposition of Two Forms, 2008
Acrylic Paint,House Paint
30 x 24 in
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I had been making some very colorful paintings based on rings or circles that had been very well received, 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. I stayed with simple forms as in general I am much more interested in surface and color anyway. With this painting, after I had finished the central piece, I felt it lacked gravitas due mostly to size, and so I decided to affix the canvas to an underlying canvas painted in a very flat black color, with texture to it (I actually used house paint for this, which is perfect for what I wanted). So the painting is actually a canvas attached to another, and has three-dimensionality to it. You can see in the close-ups the "strokiness" I was after. I think this painting has a sort of Rothko-ish, iconic quality to it, but without the gravitas.

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.