Peter Lanyon
Tate St Ives: Exhibition
9 October 2010 – 23 January 2011
Peter Lanyon, 'Porthleven Boats' 1950-1

Peter Lanyon
Porthleven Boats 1950-1
Painted metal and wood
object: 629 x 359 x 419 mm
Presented by the artist's widow 1967© The estate of Peter Lanyon

View the main page for this artwork

Peter Lanyon has come increasingly to be seen as one of the most important innovative figures in twentieth century British art. Nevertheless, this will be the first thorough retrospective for almost forty years.

Lanyon was the leading exponent of abstract expressionism in Britain in the 1950s. In tandem with contemporaries in America and Europe he developed a new language for painting with his unmatched formal and technical experimentation. Though his roots were in the Constructivism of Naum Gabo, he saw himself as remaking the tradition of landscape painting, using landscape and places to express ideas about states of being and the human condition.

Studies and displays of Lanyon’s art have often focused on the places and experiences from which he said his works derived. This exhibition will seek also to throw light upon the technical qualities of the work, to emphasise his technical innovation and progression. His sculpture will feature alongside his paintings.

Find more information in Peter Lanyon’s biography (PDF Format, 230 KB).

The show is curated by Chris Stephens, Head of Displays and Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain.