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The broad, gestural style of Lost Mine reflects the impact of American Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, whose work Lanyon first encountered in the early 1950s. Typically for Lanyon, however, its seeming abstraction is combined with a precise external source: a tin mine in his native Cornwall that had been flooded by the sea and abandoned. The colours are both representational and symbolic. The black stands for the mine shaft and seems to signify death, the blues are the sea and sky, the red signals life and danger.

June 2011