Peter Lyons’s technique approaches photographic realism, but the precision in his paintings is an attempt to communicate a state of awareness, rather than to reproduce a scene.
Human figures are absent; the artist’s ego is absent. An otherworldly light reveals a moment of harmony among the natural, human, and transcendent orders of being. “Bathed in this elevating light,” says Lyons, “the beauty of the ordinary is released, and the image acts as a lens focusing awareness of wonder, joy, and spiritual anticipation in the viewer.”
For Lyons, the material painting is a talisman through which shared truths are recognized, not communicated. Their subject, one can say, is not the shared reality of the material world, but a shared holiness and shared humanity.
In significant respects, Lyons’s paintings both resemble and have the power of mid-19th-century Luminist paintings: beauty is immanent, serenity is palpable, and spiritual fulfillment is imminent. And in other respects, they are unabashedly 21st-century paintings, taking pleasure and finding wonder in color, form, and abstraction.