The Gallery: Karen Lyons

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Tornado 1, 2005
Introducing Karyn Lyons. I have been waiting for two years to see these paintings! Not long ago, Karyn stepped aside from a career as an art director in the fashion industry to pursue her painting – and I am so thankful for her decision! This body of photo-realist paintings is on view right now in a debut show at the Sarah Bowen Gallery entitled “i think i love you.”

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Lady in Fur Coat, 2005

You must go take a walk through this show. She created this series to work as a narrative as one moves through the gallery, like frames from a film.

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Lady in Fur Collar, oil on canvas, 2004

I am struck by the beautiful rendering of so many kinds of soft surfaces, from furs, silks and satin, to the wooly atmosphere of the skies, to the soft edges where light dissolves the branches of an apple tree.

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Apple Tree – Rowayton, oil on canvas, 2005
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Lady in Satin Shirt, oil on canvas, 2005

She says of her heroine, “Although she is always shown alone, I wanted to create the sense that it is just before, during, or after an encounter. I wanted to weave a narrative of romantic longing and desire.”

These paintings also speak to ideas of femininity and choices we must make as we move through life, hence the apple trees which are also obvious metaphors for temptation.

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Lady in Kimono, oil on canvas, 2005

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Lady in Trench Coat, oil on canvas, 2005

Ah yes, the apples -- which appear a few times in the story of this show. About these, the critic George Ferrandi says, "...in art, apples are almost always in some residual conversation with temptation - but Lyons makes broader use of them. Somehow, in their associations with fall and the end of summer, and in the presence of these ever-woolen skies, the apple tree carts with it a feeling of "after." Like the moon is on the wane. Like the honeymoon is over.”

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Apple Tree - Bell Island, oil on canvas, 2005

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Lady in Sportscar, 9 x 12 inches, graphite on paper, 2005

Congratulations Karyn, on a mesmerizing show.

Prices for her work range from $500-$800 for drawings (such as the one above), and $2,000-$8,000 for her oil paintings. Readers can see more of her work on the Sarah Bowen Gallery site, or at ArtNet, and are welcome to contact Karyn Lyons via email.

The show is up until January 8, 2006 at the Sarah Bowen Gallery.
•Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11-7
•210 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (between Driggs and Roebling, close to the Bedford stop on the L train)
•718-302-4517

- Amy Chase

(not Maxwell)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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