Fine Art / Lance Esplund

Mari Lyons: Sunsets/Hillsides


Mari Lyons, 75, produces paintings in which thick, urgent strokes of vibrant color and icy white explode outward like streamers and confetti. In past thematic shows, she has tackled still lifes, New York City cityscapes, interiors, landscapes and the figure. Her current exhibition focuses on the sunsets and dense woods behind her studio in Woodstock, N.Y.

In these new oils, watercolors and pastels, all from 2009 or 2010, the artist weds expressionistic and Impressionistic tendencies. Blazes of color, these landscapes immerse us in the filtered, quivering light of the forest. Recalling the cool fractured spaces of El Greco, "Sunset Allegretto" frames blues, violets and crimsons between two swaying evergreens. In "Meandering Sunset" and "Exploding Cherry Tree," webs of branches hold daubs of brilliant color, all vying for ascendency. And in "Winter Light," the white canvas ground unties velvety pinks, greens and purples. Here, as elsewhere, through glorious shots of heightened color we arrive in landscapes defined, surprisingly, by their clearly articulated, naturalistic spaces. Ms. Lyons's strong, bountiful voice, a chorus of color, rejoices in the light.

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