Lyle Salmi

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Lyle Salmi

I am interested in the creation of works which at once offer the viewer an experience of both stasis as well as movement, presence as well as absence, mass as well as void, projection as well as retraction- without being the embodiment of one to the exclusion of the other.  These are what I understand to be the forces inherent in nature- constantly working in relation to each other, yet at times seemingly invisible.

The repetition of the movements and brushwork creates a certain stability and familiarity which allows me to be free from thinking about overtly compositional choices.  I merely attend to the rhythms of brushwork, color and surface as I progress with each piece.  At times the color and surface appear to vibrate in synchronization; at other times they may suggest discordance, perhaps even upheaval. My work seems to exist in a reality somewhere between the physicality of a painterly surface and the suggestion of light and space somewhere beyond…

Forms may reveal themselves as shimmering entities… are they solid mass, or, like a mirage- merely the movements of vapor?  That which may initially appear to be solid, may in fact be as porous as the atmosphere we breathe.  Perhaps form is not separate from the surrounding space.  Perhaps forms, space, and light are constantly forming and reforming their interrelations in a dynamic exchange.  This I leave for the viewer to decide.

I grew up enjoying the bountiful lakes, streams, and wilderness areas of northeastern Minnesota. I have also have the good fortune to spend a number of years in the Desert Southwest. It was the lasting impressions of these environments that were to later be infused with my understanding of contemporary abstract painting in order to lay the foundations for the abstract impressions of light and form.

Within each of us exists the opportunity, as individuals, to catch a glimpse of something previously not seen.  Something unnamable, something which is at once unexplainably familiar and strange… It is in these instances that we may realize the limitations of language as a way to describe certain experiences. This is why I paint.  Lyle J. Salmi