Steve Lyons is an American artist specializing in art that has become internationally known as "sculptural paintings." This breakthrough technique has captured the attention of critics, collectors, artists, and the ...Read more...general public across the globe. It stems from the question that is ongoinging in his head: "What is a painting?"
Lyons was born and raised in Portsmouth, Ohio, located on the northern banks of the Ohio River. His love for painting began as a young child, and by age eight, he won his first competition, in Canton, Ohio. While he continued to paint throughout his life - sometimes more than others - he devoted his formal education to pursusing his dual passion for writing and art, earning a B.A. at Eastern Kentucky University, and an M.A. at Louisiana State University - where he majored in journalism and minored in art and was a Walter Hitesman scholarship recipient.
After grad school, he moved north - to New York City. There he earned his living with stints as the personal assistant to famed film, television, and theater critic Judith Crist, as well as to entertainer Pia Zadora. He never ventured far from his love of painting and writing, doing both when he wasn't scourning museums, artist studios, and attending theater. He likes to say it was how and where he earned a Master's degree in creativity because "seeing others creative output teaches you styles and techniques that ultimately set you free from the confines of whatever notion is stuck in your head about what a painting or a play actually is."
Lyons knows he is one of the lucky artists. While he tells everyone that painting is first and foremost, simply, manual labor, succeeding at it also includes taking risks and being blessed with a lighting bolt of luck. His total freedom to create began full time in 2011, thanks to his trademark "Memento Paintings" - a series of dune, sea/landscapes, and abstracts done on scrap lumber. He began showing them off his front porch, and they are now a part of private collections throughtout the United States and Europe. From these small pieces sprang a career that includes commissions of all shapes and sizes, for collectors across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S.
His work is rooted in Northern European Expressionism, but his signature work employs a contemporized impasto effect that creates a heightened dimensionality on the surface. Thus, his signature pieces are visual and tactile. The technique also helps him bridge the gap between representational and abstraction styles, which he has been told is unique to his works.
He ascended into the international market in 2013 when he was the first American to win the shared exhibition prize at the Stadtgalerie, Westerland, Germany. The nomination was "blind," as was the selection process, and included thirty-five artists from across the globe submitting to the society of critics, collectors, and gallery. In 2014, he was the first American awarded private mentorship with Finland's premier living artist and designer, Markku Piri.
His work has been shown in New Haven, CT; Boston, MA; Old Greenwich, CT; and Cincinnati, OH; and is collected by individuals and institutions alike, including several museum directors and art and cultural critics throughout the United States and Europe. He has been invited to show at the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art, and was selected for the juried exhibition in Westhampton, NY, in August, 2014.
In March 2015, he embarked on his first international shows in Berlin and Freising, Garmany, where his exhibition earned rave from the press. Future exhibtions in Europe include Zurich, Vienna, Potsdam, Dresden, and Venice.