Peter Lanyon (1918-1964)
(George) Peter Lanyon (8 February 1918 – 31 August 1964) was a Cornish painter of landscapes leaning heavily towards abstraction.
He also made constructions, pottery and collage.
Lanyon was born in St Ives, Cornwall, the only son of W H Lanyon, an amateur photographer and musician. He was educated at Clifton College. St Ives remained his base, and he received after-school painting lessons from Borlase Smart. In 1937 he met Adrian Stokes, who is thought to have introduced him to contemporary painting and sculpture and who advised him to go to the Euston Road School, where he studied for four months under Victor Pasmore. In 1936-37 he also attended Penzance School of Art. In 1939 he met established artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, who had moved to St Ives on the outbreak of war. Lanyon received private art tuition from Nicholson.
The character of his work changed completely and he became very involved with making constructions. Throughout the 1940s the influence of Nicholson and Gabo remained strongly visible in his work.
From 1940 to 1945 he served with the Royal Air Force in the Western Desert, Palestine and Italy. Also in 1946 he became an active member of the Crypt Group of Artists, St Ives. During the 1950s he became established as a leading figure in the St. Ives group of artists.
Lanyon took up gliding as a pastime and used the resulting experience extensively in his paintings. He died in Taunton, Somerset, as the result of injuries received in a gliding accident and is buried in St. Uny's Church, Lelant.