About the Photographer
American, b. 1937
Joan Lyons is a multi-media artist dedicated to making works on paper, from traditional and alternative photographic processes to lithography and artists’ books. Her work is intimate and introspective, engaging questions of the indexical quality of photography and often involving a sense of tactility and elements of personal narrative. In a 1982 artist statement, Lyons described her process: “I work with what is available, a variety of optical devices. I work through complexity, to something simple and direct. This distillation process becomes more evident as time goes on. I work at those things that are evident; how I see, not conventions of seeing. What visual recording is about. How systems shape data. It is organic and about growth.”
Lyons completed a BFA at Alfred University, New York (1957), and an MFA at SUNY Buffalo, New York (1973). Lyons has taught printmaking, printing, photography, and artists’ books since 1971, and she co-founded the Visual Studies Workshop Press in 1972. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is held in many permanent collections, including George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Visual Studies Workshop Collection, Rochester, NY; DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa. Lyons has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, and she edited Artists Books: A Critical Anthology and Source Book (1985). Lyons lives and works in Rochester, New York.