Lyon’s work explores themes of interconnectivity and imminent ecological collapse. Informed by the sensibility of ancient cave painting, in which images seem to emerge out of the working surface itself, he creates a richly textured, watery stained ground on raw canvas—a visually dynamic stand-in for a cave wall. From this atmospheric surface, Lyon teases out intricate imagery that evokes inter-dependence and suggests mass extinction: gnashing teeth, human and animal skulls, and bodies melting into one another. In another layer of his work, the combination of stain and figuration references nature’s powerful redemptive energy.
When seen from across the room, the paintings are joyous, celebratory, and abstract but suggestive of a cosmic scale, and unnaturally saturated with color. The stains echo dynamic natural and unnatural forces that are at once terrifying and beautiful, such as floods and oil spills. Up close, figuration becomes apparent, suggesting animalistic impulses, rapacious consumerism, and insatiable hunger.