Lionni, who is teaching painting and drawing, represents a new generation of contemporary minimalism and abstract painters. He uses existing forms or ideas as drawings; his paintings are neither pictures, nor primary structures, nor allusions. While complicated to make, they look simple and can be seen at a glance.
A Dec. 19 review on the website SvD Kultur said Lionni’s “Letter, Legal, Legal” offered a “composition (that is) delicate and the found color scheme subtle.”
Born in England, Lionni earned an MFA from Bard College and a BFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His other solo exhibitions have included “Before the Flood” and “Zugzwang” at Freight + Volume in New York; “Sylvan Lionni” at Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, Ohio; and “Stadia” and “Shine” at the Fusebox in Washington, D.C.
He has also participated in group shows including “The Long Now” at the university’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
Art in America magazine called Lionni’s work “beautifully crafted paintings of mundane objects” in a review of his exhibit at Kansas Gallery in New York in April. Art Papers said Lionni’s paintings “disclose an impeccable, invisible hand. …As in all Lionni’s paintings, these shapes possess an implicit detachment: They reside on the ground with crisp, inﬁnitesimal edges, as if they could be peeled from the surface like Colorforms.”