Peter Lanyon (1918 − 1964)

Peter Lanyon was born in St Ives. He studied at Penzance School of Art, and briefly attended the Euston Road School. During the war he served in the RAF, and was a founder member of the Crypt Group in St Ives. He taught at Bath Academy of Art from 1950 - 1957. The landscape of the Cornish coast surrounding St Ives provided a constant source of inspiration for his painting throughout his career. In an interview recorded for the British Council in 1962 he said: "It is impossible for me to make a painting which has no reference to the very powerful environment in which I live." A substantive influence on his work was provided by the British artist, Ben Nicholson and the Russian constructivist, sculptor Naum Gabo, who settled in St Ives in 1939. Despite its geographical remoteness from London, St Ives, like Hampstead in the early 1930s, attracted several artists and intellectuals, and played an important role in influencing the course of British art. Lanyon took as his subject the life, industry and landscape of the region - in particular the fishing and farming communities of south west Cornwall. The strong subject basis of his painting provided a foundation which he developed along increasingly abstract lines. During the 1950s his paintings became freer and more gestural, though the association with the landscape was never lost. Lanyon, and other St Ives painters, such as Roger Hilton, were greatly encouraged by developments in American painting and friendships were forged with many leading American abstract expressionists. Lanyon's passion for gliding, which he took up primarily to help to get to know the landscape better, provided him with new perspectives on the coast and shoreline which he integrated into his later paintings. Tragically it also led to his death, caused by a gliding accident in 1964.

Further reading:
Andrew Causey, Peter Lanyon, Aidin Ellis Publishing Ltd, London, 1971
Andrew Lanyon, Peter Lanyon 1918 - 1964, Andrew Lanyon, Newlyn, 1990
Margaret Garlake,The Drawings of Peter Lanyon, Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, 2003

Glossary (2)

  • Landscape

    Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.

  • Painting

    Work of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is a tightly stretched piece of canvas, paper or a wooden panel. Painting involves a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's intellectual concerns effecting the content of a work.

Work Themes (3)

Past exhibitions

OUT OF BRITAIN

  • 2013
    • Romania, Bucharest, National Museum Of Art
  • 2012
    • Oman, Muscat, Bait Al Zubair Museum
    • Kuwait, Kuwait City, Contemporary Art Platform
    • Saudi Arabia, Al Kohbar, Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Science & Technology Center
    • Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Athr Gallery
    • Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Riyadh National Museum

LET US FACE THE FUTURE: ART BRITÀNIC 1945-1968

  • 2010
    • Spain, Barcelona, Fundacio Joan Miro

PASSPORTS. IN VIAGGIO CON L'ARTE

  • 2009
    • Italy, Milan, Padglione D'arte Contemporanea

FROM DESTRUCTION TO ABSTRACTION BRITISH ART IN THE 1940S AND 1950S

  • 2008
    • Syria, Damascus, University Of Damascus

A CROSS SECTION THROUGH CONTEMPORARY BRITISH ART

  • 2001
    • Turkey, Ankara, Ankara Art Fair

PETER LANYON COASTAL JOURNEY

  • 2000
    • UK, St Ives, Tate St Ives

DRAWING DISTINCTIONS

  • 2003
    • Poland, Lodz, Museum Sztuki
  • 2001
    • UK, Nottingham, Castle Museum And Art Gallery
    • UK, Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Gallery
    • Russia, Nizhny Novgorod, Museum Of Fine Arts
    • Russia, Moscow, Pushkin Museum Of Fine Arts
  • 2000
    • Russia, St Petersburg, The Hermitage
    • Canada, Yukon Art Gallery
    • Canada, Prairie Art Gallery
    • Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • 1999
    • Canada, Timmins Museum And N E C
    • Canada, Arcadia University Art Gallery
  • 1998
    • Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, National Art Gallery
    • Malaysia, Penang, Penang State Museum And Art Gallery
  • 1997
    • USA, Phoenix, Arizona State University Art Museum
    • USA, Berkeley, University Art Museum

THE FIFTIES

  • 1999
    • Spain, Jerez, Sala Pescaderia Vieja, Ayunamiento De Jerez
    • Spain, Barcelona, Centre Cultural De La Caixa De Terrassa
    • Spain, Salamanca, Palacio De Abrantes
    • Netherlands, Amstelveen, Cobra Museum
    • Spain, Pamplona, Recinto Ciudadela
    • Spain, La Coruna, Fondacion Barrie De La Maza
  • 1998
    • Ireland, Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy
  • 1997
    • Cyprus, Nicosia, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre

OUT OF PRINT

  • 2001
    • Germany, Hildesheim, Roemer- Und Pelizaeue Museum
  • 1999
    • Poland, Bytom, Museum Gornoslaskie
    • Poland, Lodz, Museum Sztuki
    • Poland, Warsaw, National Museum
    • USA, Mary Washington College Galleries
  • 1998
    • USA, Springfield Museum Of Art
    • USA, New Jersey, Stedman Art Gallery, Rutgers State Univeristy Of New Jersey
  • 1997
    • USA, Provo, Museum Of Art Brigham Young University
  • 1996
    • Spain, La Coruna, Fondacion Barrie De La Maza
    • Spain, Seville, Museo De Bellas Artes
    • Spain, Bilbao, Museo De Bellas Artes De Bilbao
  • 1995
    • Cyprus, Nicosia, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre
    • Egypt, Cairo, British Council Office - Cairo
    • Egypt, Alexandria, British Council Office - Alexandria
    • Italy, Naples, Naples
    • Italy, Cagliari, Assozione Culturale Italia Inghliterra
  • 1994
    • Belgium, Antwerp, Luchtbal Art Centre
    • France, Gravelines, Musee Du Dessin Et D'estample Originale

LOAN TO MUSEUM IN EXCHANGE FOR BACON PAINTING

  • 1995
    • Wales, Cardiff, National Museum Of Wales

PAINT MARKS

  • 1994
    • UK, Southampton, Southampton City Art Gallery
    • UK, Cambridge, Kettle's Yard

PETER LANYON: AIR, LAND AND SEA

  • 1993
    • UK, Penzance, Newlyn Art Gallery
    • UK, Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery
    • UK, Warwick, Mead Gallery, Warwick University
  • 1992
    • UK, London, Camden Arts Centre

FOR A WIDER WORLD

  • 1991
    • Argentina, Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes
    • Bulgaria, Sofia, Cyril Methodius Foundation
    • Belgium, Luxembourg, Musee National D'histoire Et D'art
  • 1990
    • Ussr, Kiev, Ukrainian Museum Of Fine Art

ST IVES 1939-64: TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND POTTERY

  • 1989
    • Japan, Tokyo, Kobe, Kamakura
  • 1985
    • UK, London, Tate Gallery

L'ART EN EUROPE 1946-53

  • 1987
    • France, St Etienne, Musee D'art Moderne

'CORNWALL' PETER LANYON: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS/ANDREW LANYON: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 1985
    • Spain, Valencia, Museo Nacional De Ceramica
    • Spain, Madrid, Centro Cultural De La Villa De Madrid
  • 1984
    • Portugal, Porto, Museu Nacional Soares Dos Reis
    • Portugal, Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    • Ireland, Limerick, Belltable Arts Centre
    • Ireland, Waterford, Garter Lane Arts Centre
    • Ireland, Cork, Triskel Arts Centre
    • Ireland, Kilkenny, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle
  • 1975
    • Spain, Barcelona, Centre Cultural De La Caixa De Terrassa

PETER LANYON PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND CONSTRUCTIONS 1937-64

  • 1978
    • UK, Bristol, Royal West Of England Academy
    • UK, Cambridge, Kettle's Yard
    • Scotland, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    • UK, Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery

BRITISK MALERI 1945-1970

  • 1972
    • Poland, Poznan, Museum Narodowe
    • Poland, Krakow, Museum Narodowe
    • Poland, Warsaw, Museum Narodwe Warszawie
    • Norway, Bergen, Kunstforeningen
    • Norway, Oslo, Kunstnerforbundet
    • Norway, Trondheim, Kunstforening

BRITISH PAINTINGS 1945-1970

  • 1972
    • Poland, Krakow, Museum Narodowe
    • Poland, Poznan, Museum Narodowe
    • Poland, Warsaw, Museum Narodwe Warszawie
    • Norway, Bergen, Kunstforeningen
    • Norway, Trondheim, Kunstforening
    • Norway, Oslo, Kunstnerforbundet

CONTEMPORARY BRITISH PAINTING

  • 1969
    • South Africa, Port Elizabeth, King George VI Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Durban, Durban Museum And Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, Pietermaritzburg Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Pretoria, Pretoria Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Johannesburg, Johannesburg Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Durban, Durban Museum And Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Kimberley Art Gallery
    • South Africa, Cape Town, South African National Gallery

PETER LANYON

  • 1968
    • UK, Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery
    • UK, Birmingham, Birmingham City Museum And Art Gallery
    • UK, Newcastle, Laing Art Gallery
    • UK, Plymouth, Plymouth City Museum And Art Gallery
    • UK, London, Tate Gallery

BRITISK KUNST IDAG

  • 1966
    • Norway, Oslo, Kinstnernes Hus

BRITISH CONTEMPORARY PAINTINGS

  • 1966
    • Gibraltar, Gibraltar, John Mackintosh Hall
    • Egypt, Alexandria, El Nasr Girl's College
    • Egypt, Cairo, Galerie Des Beaux Arts
  • 1965
    • United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates
    • Croatia, Zagreb, House Of Artists
    • Yugoslavia, Belgrade, Masarakova Art Pavilion
    • Yugoslavia, Skopje, Skopje City Art Gallery
    • Malta, Valletta, Palazzo De La Salle

SOME ASPECTS OF CONTEMPORARY BRITISH PAINTING

  • 1964
    • Denmark, Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum Of Modern Art
    • Canada, Edmonton Art Gallery
    • Canada, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina
    • Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery
    • Canada, National Gallery Of Canada
    • Canada, Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts
    • UK, London, Public Library
  • 1963
    • Canada, Art Gallery Of Ontario
    • Iceland, Reykjavik, National Museum

CONTEMPORARY BRITISH PAINTING 1900-1962

  • 1964
    • Romania, Palace Of Culture
    • Romania, Bucharest, National Gallery
    • Slovakia, Bratislava, Mirbach Palace & Palffy Palace
    • Czechoslovakia, Prague, ULUV Exhibition Hall
  • 1963
    • Hungary, Budapest, Ernst Museum

JELENKORI BRIT FESTESZET

  • 1963
    • Hungary, Budapest, Ernst Museum

RECENT BRITISH GOUACHES

  • 1966
    • Finland, Finland
  • 1965
    • Germany, Erlangen, Organgerie/Schlosspark
    • Germany, Landshut, Volkshoeschule
    • Germany, Regensburg, Stadtisches Museum
    • Germany, Munich, Akademie Der Kunste
  • 1964
    • Germany, Wuppertal, Galerie Palette
    • Germany, Schweinfurt, Friedrich-Ruckert-Bau
    • Germany, Frankfurt, Haus Riederwald
    • Germany, Frankfurt, Haus Derabusch
    • Germany, Stadtisches Museum
  • 1963
    • Germany, Braunschweig, Kunstverein
    • Germany, Bremen, Kunsthalle
    • Germany, Bad Homburg, Kurhaus
    • Germany, Trier, Stadtisches Museum
    • Germany, Heidelberg, Kurpfalzisches Museum
    • Germany, Giegen, Stadt Galerie
    • Germany, Berlin, Kunstart Charlottenburg
    • Germany, Hamburg, Kunstverein

ARTE BRITANICA NO SECULO XX

  • 1962
    • Portugal, Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

VIII EXPOSITION INTERNATIONALE DES ARTISTES PEINTURES ET AMATEURS D'ART DE TUNISIE

  • 1961
    • Tunisia, Tunis, Maison Associations Culturelles

GRAVURES ET LITHOGRAPHIES ANGLAISES CONTEMPORAINES

  • 1960
    • Norway, Norway Tour
  • 1957
    • France, Tour

BRITISH ART 1900-1955

  • 1956
    • Norway, Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus
    • Denmark, Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen
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