Giles Lyon continues his exploration of large cartoon-like abstractions for which he is well known. The past division between his psychedelic Rorschach-like webs of sci-fi ganglia in some paintings, and the subdued, more painterly patches in others, has been fused into nebulas of synthetic color and organic shapes floating in space.
Lyon begins each work by splattering and staining unprimed canvases strewn on the studio floor. While casually walking over, sitting on, or otherwise occupying these painted terrains, he begins to carefully outline and redefine specific areas, as well as build-up small stalagmites of paint, apply swatches of fabric, or incorporate bits of personal detritus and studio debris. Shifting between accidental incident and deliberate delineation, Lyon finds a balance between the chaotic and the controlled, as his paintings slowly coalesce to have an identity of their own.
While their improvised beginnings recall Pollock and Surrealist automatism, Lyon's paintings are pointedly 90s in their strategy, structure and hybridization of previous abstraction and contemporary culture. A long lineage and wide range of inspirations, including Kandinsky, Gorky, Abstract Expressionism, Guston, Zap Comix and Japanimation, are insightfully reconciled to create new relations between gesture and image, and illusion and abstraction.
Reflecting an early interest in medical illustration, cell pathology and epidemiology, the biomorphic structures of Lyon's abstractions exaggerate our biologically obsessed, scientifically conscious culture. With a pallet influenced by pharmaceutical capsules, candy wrappers and comic-book colors, Lyon's paintings are unabashedly pleasure giving in sensibility. Although they are a physical mapping of their self-referential creation, their intricate networks of brightly-hued fragments and flatly rendered formations offer a kaleidoscope of psychological associations. Reflecting a fascination with high art heroics and a propensity for Pop-like tendencies, Lyon's paintings represent a highly personal, yet culturally attuned iconography.