tue 26/09/2017

Peter Lanyon, Tate St Ives | reviews, news & interviews

Peter Lanyon, Tate St Ives

Peter Lanyon, Tate St Ives

A Cornish master rediscovered. But he should be on show in Tate Britain

Peter Lanyon is 'an authentically British pioneer of painterly abstraction' 'Lost Mine', 1959

A retrospective at Tate St Ives can be a poisoned chalice for the major artist. It postpones his or her prospect of a showing at Tate Britain by a couple of decades, and can appear to consign them to the comfort zone of "Cornish Art": the heritage Modernism of Barbara and Ben, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron et al, stuff we love (well, most of us) because it reminds us of being on holiday, but may feel, in our heart of hearts, to be more than a touch minor. On the positive side, Peter Lanyon, who was killed in a gliding accident in 1964, isn’t around to mind, and there’s something to be said for being able to look from one of his lyrical canvases straight out at the surf crashing on Porthmeor Beach and the edge of the windswept, ancient landscape Lanyon regarded as his personal Calvary.

This is our first chance in nearly 40 years to ask: "how good is Peter Lanyon?"

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Comments

I would to see this work in the flesh .how Beautiful is this discovery .... shame on me for not looking before ....... keith

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