Monday, 31 May 2010

peter lanyon

has made it on my list for the land art investigation.
i hadn't seen his work before. but richard's course on modern and contemporary art at the tate britain last week introduced me to this one here:

Peter Lanyon, Lost Mine, 1959, 183x153 cm, oil on canvas
Tate Britain

i think it was my favourite painting of the lot. - in far as my emotional response goes. i love it for its colour balance and rythm, emphasised by the strong gestural marks. the rythm of calm and dynamic. it depicts the tragedy of the flooding of the tin mines in levant, cornwall. the tin mines were under the seabed and too close digging under the seabed led to their flooding with the loss of 39 miners' lives in 1919*.

see this bbc archive for some information on the cornish tin mining industry.

so, a couple of books on lanyon and lanyon's landscape paintings are ordered. it's been a while that i was that intrigued by a painter. there is a potential, from what i've read so far, that his landscape work actually provides a radical departure over previous landscape genre obsessions with harmony, a hiding of ownership and power relations in the landscape. i'll wait on the post delivery to read on.

*this is the information given on the tate website. i did some reading about the levant mining disaster and can't find any reference about flooding; instead, the miners were trapped and suffocated when the mechanical ladder on which they ascended after a shift broke and brought some of the shaft down with it. an incident from the mid-19c is the mining disaster at east wheal rose, where 59 miners died when shafts flooded. see the wiki entry here. i will wait to read more about the painting to get a sense which tragedy lanyon referred to.

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