Karyn Lyons - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "During my adolescence, I felt cleaved through the heart... It has taken me all this time to look back on that girl with empathy" 
    — Karyn Lyons


    Born in 1981, American female painter Karyn Lyons lives and works in New York City. After receiving her B.A. in Journalism from the American University in Washington, D.C., she worked in the fashion industry for many years, before graduating from her post-graduate studies at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2003. The following year Lyons worked in renowned American artist Jeff Koons’ studio as a painter, before pursuing her artistic career full-time.



    Left: the present lot



    Contemporising art historical and cultural references , Lyons examines how our visual vocabulary and recollections are largely rooted in our childhood conditioning. Painted in oil on vellum, Heartbreaker from 2021 depicts a young female in a private moment of solitude, looking at the inside of her left elbow, deep in thought. In a way the subject is rather a version of the artist herself, set in an intimate yet ambiguous narrative. The relaxed, hazy brushstrokes, the rich reds and greens, and the interior setting all recall Modern master Henri Matisse’s The Dessert: Harmony in Red, while conjuring up a space between vivid recollection and peaceful reverie in the modern era. Drawing on her experience as a young woman, the work revisits Lyon’s desires, and fantasies of her teens through a kind and loving lens that she has eventually learned to adopt when looking back on her younger self.



    The artist working in her studio in Harlem, New York City
    Image Courtesy of The Maryn


    Lyons has shown works internationally and her most recent solo exhibitions include the ongoing Tennis Elbow at The Journal INC., New York (16 November – 3 December 2022) and Under the Spell at TURN Gallery, New York (2021), with latest group exhibitions including The Power to Dream with Galerie Hussenot, Paris (2022), Ojos De Perro Azul at Marinaro, New York (1 Sep – 1 Oct 2022) and Through A Glass, Darkly  at Carl Kostyál, Milan (7 July – 16 October 2022). Lyons’ work was featured in the group exhibition Sweet Jane in Fields of Daisies, curated by Joan Tucker, at Phillips Hong Kong between 7 – 28 September 2021. 


    • Provenance

      TURN Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed, titled and dated '"The Heartbreaker" Karyn Lyons 2021' on the reverse
oil on vellum
43.4 x 35.2 cm. (17 1/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

HK$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$403,200

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022