Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Lyle J. 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.

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.

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.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL