Online Collections at UoB - People
Name: Lanyon, Peter
Date of birth: 1918-02-08
Place of birth: St Ives, Cornwall
Date of death: 1964-08-31
Place of death: Taunton
Lanyon was the only son of W. H. Lanyon, an amateur photographer and musician. He studied at St Erbyn's School, Penzance and Clifton College from 1936-37 and then at the Penzance School of Art. He went on to study at the Euston Road School under Victor Pasmore and in 1939 met the artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo who had moved to St Ives when World War II broke out.
Lanyon served in the Royal Air Force in the Western Desert, Palestine and Italy and in 1946 married Sheila St John Browne with whom he had six children. He then became a member of the Crypt Group of Artists, St Ives and was a founder member of Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall.
He travelled extensively during his career and was influenced by the landscape and character of Italy where he spent four months living on an Italian government scholarship. He was elected a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists and in 1954 awarded Critics Prize, by the British section of the International Association of Art Critics. From 1957-60 he ran the art school, St Peter's Loft at St Ives with Terry Frost and William Redgrave. In 1957 he visited New York for his first one-man show with Catherine Viviano Gallery and met Rothko, Motherwell and other artists, critics and collectors enjoying the artists’ loose and gestural style which affected his work.
Lanyon took up gliding in order to get a more complete experience of the landscape which provided inspiration for so much of his art. After further work and travel abroad in New Jersey, Texas, Prague and Bratislava, Lanyon was involved in a gliding accident exploring the rugged Cornish landscape which tragically resulted in his early death aged just 46.