From using dreamlike symbolism to allowing the material of paint itself to take center stage, Lyshak’s paintings have continued to offer an open space for reflection on the human condition as it is found in emotional experience.
Francie Lyshak earned her BFA at the Center for Creative Studies and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and received her Masters degree in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute, New York. This professional immersion in art as a therapeutic tool influenced the focus of her visual practice on psychological experience.
Lyshak’s early paintings were profoundly influenced by her fellow artists, musicians, actors, dancers and writers in the East Village, NYC. She was a feminist who created emotionally and psychologically-loaded paintings, rebelling against the restrained intellectualism that she saw in paintings and sculpture during the 70’s and 80’s. Later on she documented her arts community with online interviews that speak to their battle with homophobia, the AIDS epidemic, Reganism and the rise and fall of the East Village arts community. In 1993 she wrote, illustrated and exhibited a book about trauma and recovery from childhood abuse that was later published. After that show Lyshak’s paintings evolved from narrative figuration to painterly abstraction to the minimalist style that is central to her work today. Throughout, however, her paintings retain a focus on inner states of mind and heart.
Francie Lyshak has exhibited in solo exhibitions at venues at and around New York City including LaMama LaGalleria, and Carter Burden Gallery in Chelsea, NY. She recently exhibited in several museum shows at the Phillips Museum of Franklin & Marshall College, the Butler Institute and Gadsen Cultural Arts Foundation. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Lichtundfire, La Mama La Galleria, Denise Bibro Fine Art, A.I.R. Gallery, RC Fine Arts, Barbara Ann Levy Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Carter Burden Gallery, and Stephen Harvey Fine Arts. She has shown work with curators and jurors including Alice Neel, Patterson Sims, and Paulina Pobocha. Her work has been reviewed by numerous critics such as Gary Indiana, Johathan Goodman, Dominique Nahas, Stephen Gambino and Peter Frank.
Lyshak is the recipient of awards at competitions and events including the First Annual Prize Competition, Provincetown Arts Association and Museum; Museum of the Hudson Highlands Annual Competition and the Annual Faber Birren National Color Award. Her work is represented in public collections at Bronx Children’s Center as well as Butler Institute and in private collections in the US and UK.