David Lyle 'Misbehaving' at Lyons Wier Gallery
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David Lyle Misbehaving April 5 - 28, 2011 Artist’s Reception: Thursday, April 5th, 2012, 6-8pm Lyons Wier Gallery 542 West 24th St., New York, NY 10011
Gallery Hours: Tues - Sat, 11-6pm
Nearest subway: C,E @ 23rd St & 8th Ave
Lyons Wier Gallery is pleased to present Misbehaving, a new body of work by artist David Lyle. Working from found vintage and vernacular photographs, Lyle seamlessly composes works that harken back to 1950’s and 1960’s America - not as they were, but skewed and reimagined by the artist.
Lyle’s painstakingly reductive painting process is a very crucial element to the evolution of his final images. Each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. Lyle begins his process by priming a panel with white gesso. He then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, Lyle renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.
In Misbehaving, we see how Lyle’s methodology combined with his acerbic wit creates an altered reality rife with cynicism and bursting with mischief. Lyle is impeccably faithful to the vintage photographs that inspire his work – until a point in which he instills a cultural reference so familiar, yet iconoclastic, as to leave the viewer wincing, laughing, or really thinking -- often it is all three.
This series presents the most innocuous images of bygone times catalyzed by suggestive, sad, or outright strange anachronisms. An adolescent girl snips pages from a Playboy magazine on her tidy bed (Show and Tell); a deadpan scientist holds a hand to a cage of monkeys, among them Elmo from Sesame Street (Wrongfully Accused); an all American ‘50s family is glued to a TV set in admiration of The Simpsons (Family Time). These are juxtaposed with pieces like The Tin Man's Broken Heart and And Then There Was Light that present subtler dynamics more redolent of the artist's personal history and sense of childhood. In a time when Americans are as nostalgic as they are dependent on technology, such work is bitingly astute. Lyle's art seems to ask, “Were we really so good back then?” and if not, “Are we really so bad now?” David Lyle attended the University of California at Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies. His work has been exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and in Japan and covered in publications such as New York Magazine, Modern Painter, New American Paintings, American Artist, Hi-Fructose, Proximity Magazine and Coast Magazine. This is Lyle’s second solo exhibition with Lyons Wier Gallery.