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Chris Stephens (ed.), Margaret Garlake, Tacita Dean

Tate, 2010
100 pages
Fully illustrated, colour
ISBN: 9781854379184

Peter Lanyon (1918-64) is one of the most important and innovative figures in 20th century British art. In recent years his reputation has broadened and this publication marks the first retrospective exhibition of his work for over thirty years.

In the 1950s Lanyon forged a new artistic language that fused an abstract expressionist vocabulary with the landscape tradition of Constable and Turner. Seeking to extend his physical experience of nature he took up gliding, which led to some of the most sublimely beautiful works of the postwar period. Tragically, it was also to lead to his untimely death at the age of just 46, the result of a gliding accident.

With over 80 colour plates, this book encompasses many of Lanyon's major works. Essays by the exhibition's curator, Chris Stephens, and art historian Margaret Garlake reveal the ideas behind Lanyon's art, its position in the wider history of his time and the physical character of his paintings. These are complemented by an insightful reflection on his work by the artist Tacita Dean, and the inclusion of the moving elegy written shortly after his death by his friend, the poet W.S. Graham. It concludes with a detailed chronology of Lanyon's life.

A timely and comprehensive introduction to this complex artist, this book also provides new revelations for those already familiar with the genius of Peter Lanyon.


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