Rob Lyon: Pursuit
January 8–February 5, 2022


Adams and Ollman is pleased to present paintings by Rob Lyon (b. 1982, Lancashire, UK; lives and works in West Sussex, UK) for his first solo exhibition at the gallery. Since 2014, Lyon has been painting the unique landscape of the South Downs in England where he grew up and later returned to raise his family. Inspired by long walks amongst its distinct ridges of wooded rolling hills and valleys, dramatic skies, and sweeping vistas, the artist works methodically and meditatively to capture and inscribe the unique spirits encountered there.

Common motifs of birds, hills, trees, and other foliage, depicted in expressive colors, strong lines, and patterned brushstrokes, assemble on the canvas in simplified forms, repeating and reassembling, held in harmonic tension as though briefly caught between moments of entropic flux. Various combinations of dots, lines, and shapes create a graphic language that is sometimes consistent, but often not. A field of grey with white lines in one scene fills a sky in the next, while treetops merge into hills and horizon lines bleed into the landscape.

In Sublimation in Blue, multiple shifts in perspective create a quilt-like landscape with a central blue figure that reads both as a body of water bisected by a bridge of land and a butterfly casting an oversized shadow on the ground below. In Dawn Drone, treetops shaped like witches' hats meet to form a point on the horizon, or perhaps blades on a pinwheel. These ambiguous, shapeshifting environments propose an animistic, interconnected world that is at once mysterious and revelatory, with each work seemingly in pursuit of some new understanding.

The works on display were made primarily during the period following the artist’s father’s death when he and his family would take long meandering walks through the hills in an attempt to re-forge new relationships with the land and one another. Importantly, these walks were motivated by a compulsion to seek out the familiar, but new; or, in the artist's words, “proximal, but unburdened by ghosts.” In exploring grief and loss through an evolving relationship to the landscape, Lyon is able to meditate on that which is beyond the scope of human understanding—time, death, the vastness of the natural world—constructing a complex world of visual mythmaking that tells more than just stories of the past, present, or future, but of fundamental relationships that mutually construct one another perpetually.

Rob Lyon (b. UK, 1982) is a self-taught painter who lives and works in West Sussex, UK. This is his first exhibition at Adams and Ollman.

Select Works


Rob Lyon
Fire, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021001


Rob Lyon
Understanding the penetration, 2021
oil on linen
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021012


Rob Lyon
Cold Ash Smother the Fire, 2021 oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021002


Rob Lyon
Spur, 2021
oil on cotton
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021003


Rob Lyon
Clouds moving water, 2021
oil on cotton
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021004


Rob Lyon
Sublimation in Blue, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021008


Rob Lyon
Conceder, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021010


Rob Lyon
Flames in motion, 2021
oil on cotton
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021005


Rob Lyon
Tilt/erect, 2021
oil on linen
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021006


Rob Lyon
The only way to immortalise us, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021007


Rob Lyon
Dawn Drone, 2021
oil on linen
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021015


Rob Lyon
So much light (for Mary Oliver), 2021
oil on linen
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021022


Rob Lyon
Reds, lineage, a frenzy, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021016


Rob Lyon
I am sorry to inform you that you will never have the chance to know me, 2021
oil on linen
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021013


Rob Lyon
Valley of assorted trunks, 2021 oil on linen
15 3/4h x 19 11/16w in
40h x 50w cm
RL2021017


Rob Lyon
I am here and you are where you are, 2021
oil on linen
15 3/4h x 19 11/16w in
40h x 50w cm
RL2021021


Rob Lyon
Juniper portal, 2021
oil on linen
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021026


Rob Lyon
Febrile in the valley, 2021
oil on linen
19 11/16h x 15 3/4w in
50h x 40w cm
RL2021025


Rob Lyon
Triangulation Point, 2021
oil on linen
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021027


Rob Lyon
Your rupture, my rapture, 2021 oil on linen
9 7/8h x 11 13/16w in
25h x 30w cm
RL2021014


Rob Lyon
All your memories, smoke on the wind, 2021
oil on linen
11 13/16h x 9 7/8w in
30h x 25w cm
RL2021011


Installation Images