Beauvais Lyons

For more than four decades my studio work has explored various forms of mock-documentation, or fictive art. My subjects have included archaeology, folk art, medicine, zoology and most recently, an imaginary early 20th century circus. My work involves both the fabrication of artifacts and their documentation. Prints are central to much of my work, as printed culture is woven into the history of science and commerce. In my projects I place a great deal of emphasis on the interrelationship between the various elements in the exhibition and the connections between the different media, which can include ceramics, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. I see this approach to art is potentially unlimited, and can take almost any form, style or medium to reflect almost any system of knowledge or belief as a way of commenting on history and its representations.

Beauvais Lyons is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he has taught printmaking since 1985. Lyons received his MFA degree from Arizona State University in 1983 and his BFA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. As the Director of the Hokes (pronounced “hoax”) Archives, he has originated traveling exhibitions that have been presented at over 80 galleries and museums across the United States. His prints are in numerous public collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia. PA. In 2002 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the Fine Arts Academy in Poznañ, Poland, and in 2014 he received the Santo Foundation Artist Award. He has published articles on his work in Archaeology, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Contemporary Impressions, Graphion, im:print, The New Art Examiner and Leonardo. His work is cited by Linda Hutcheon in Irony’s Edge: A Theory and Politics of Irony (1994); Lawrence Weschler’s Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder (1995); and most recently in Antoinette LaFarges’ book Sting in the Tale: Art, Hoaxes and Provocation (2021). He has organized several national and international printmaking conferences and has been involved in numerous forms of professional service.

Beauvais’ Website

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