PETER LANYON (1918-1964)
PETER LANYON (1918-1964)
PETER LANYON (1918-1964)
PETER LANYON (1918-1964)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
PETER LANYON (1918-1964)

Two Close

PETER LANYON (1918-1964)
Two Close
signed and dated 'Lanyon 62' (lower left), signed again, inscribed and dated again 'TWO CLOSE/Lanyon Aug: 62' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.)
Painted in 1962.
with Gimpel Fils, London.
Acquired from Beaux Arts, Bath in June 1989.
Exhibition catalogue, Four Painters: Alan Davie, Paul Feiler, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Bristol, Arnolfini Gallery, 1963, n.p., no. 16, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Peter Lanyon 1918-1964: bilder 1960-1964, Zürich, Gimpel and Hanover Galerie, 1964, n.p., no. 7, illustrated.
A. Causey, Peter Lanyon: His Painting, Henley-on-Thames, 1971, pp. 28, 66, no. 185, pl. 49.
T. Treves, Peter Lanyon: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings and Three Dimensional Works, London, 2018, pp. 552-3, no. 518, illustrated.
London, Gimpel Fils, Recent Paintings by Peter Lanyon, October 1962, no. 10.
Bristol, Arnolfini Gallery, Four Painters: Alan Davie, Paul Feiler, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, October 1963, no. 16.
Zürich, Gimpel and Hanover Galerie, Peter Lanyon 1918-1964: bilder 1960-1964, October 1964, no. 7.
Totnes, Arts Council, Dartington College of Art, Corsham: Painters and Sculptors, July - August 1965, no. 119: this exhibition travelled to Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, August - September 1965; Walsall, City Art Gallery, September - October 1965; Cambridge, Arts Council Gallery, October 1965; and Middlesbrough, City Art Gallery, November - December 1965.
London, Tate Gallery, Peter Lanyon, May - June 1968, no. 75: this exhibition travelled to Plymouth, City Museum and Art Gallery, July - August 1968; Newcastle upon Tyne, Laing Art Gallery, August 1968; Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, September 1968; and Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, October 1968.
Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, Peter Lanyon: Later Work, September - October, 1978, no. 15.
Barcelona, British Council, Centre Cultural De La Caixa De Terassa, Cornwall: Peter Lanyon - Paintings and Drawings/ Andrew Lanyon - Photographs, February - March 1984, no. 111: this exhibition travelled to Kilkenny, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle, February - March 1985; Cork, Triskel Arts Centre, March 1984; Waterford, Garter Lane Arts Centre April 1984; Limerick, Belltable Arts Centre, May 1984; Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, September - October 1984; Porto, Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, November - December 1984; Madrid, Centro Cultural De La Villa De Madrid, January - Febraury 1985; and Valencia, Museo Nacional de Ceramica, May - June 1986.
London, Gimpel Fils, Peter Lanyon: Selected Works 1952-1964, October - November 1987, no. 11.
Bath, Beaux Arts, St Ives 1920-1989, May - June 1989, exhibition not numbered.
London, Hazlitt Holland Hibbert, Peter Lanyon: Cornwall Inside Out, February - March 2018, exhibition not numbered.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private Collections

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Lot Essay


I first met Sir Nicholas Goodison in the early 2000s, when he invited me and some colleagues to his home. We had heard about his collection of post-war British art and knew him to be one of those collectors who selects an artist and then acquires their work in depth. All the same, I wasn’t prepared for what awaited me. It wasn’t simply the extent of the collection that was so remarkable, it was the depth of his knowledge and the sensitivity with which he had used it.

During his life Peter Lanyon was fortunate to have had one collector above all who felt the need to acquire his work in such a way: Stanley Seeger Jnr. Seeger had an instinctive feel for Lanyon’s work and over the course of about seven years in the late 1950s and early 1960s built an immensely impressive collection. Its masterpieces were sold in 2001, by which time a younger generation of Lanyon collectors had formed, no less admiring, no less hungry to acquire his work. On the surface they were a diverse group, ranging from David Bowie to Sir Nicholas, but what united them was an appreciation of how invigorating Lanyon’s work was, full of emotion and painterly intelligence, and a belief that he was a bracingly original landscape painter, whose ambition to make paintings that responded to his experience of being in a landscape or skyscape pushed him to innovate right up to the end. This makes collecting Lanyon’s art especially thrilling and certainly Sir Nicholas felt that too. I well remember him going through his notes on each picture and his fascination about how drawings related to paintings or how one painting might refer to a place or flight. And then we’d go and look at a picture in the house.

Once I had started on the catalogue raisonné of Lanyon’s paintings his interest in my work became palpable. We bumped into one another fairly often and he would enquire about my progress with genuine interest, I felt. Then one day I was able to give him the unlikely news that the Courtauld Gallery wanted to do an exhibition on Lanyon’s gliding paintings. What I did not know was that he had been quietly advocating for a Lanyon exhibition at the Courtauld, of which he had once been the chairman, for several years. But rather than tell me that, he simply said ‘Well done’, as if it was my achievement, which even then I sensed it wasn’t. There were more ‘Well dones’ when the exhibition opened in 2015 and the catalogue raisonné was published in 2018. Knowing by then how effective his wide-ranging support of Lanyon had been, I felt they should have been addressed to him.

Toby Treves
April 2022

In the early 1960s Lanyon’s colours broadened. The Cornish greens, browns and greys that had dominated his paintings of the early to mid 1950s gave way to blues and whites in the later 1950s, as his attention turned towards weather and gliding. Then in about 1961 large areas of red with their invigorating pictorial powers become common. These are at work in Two Close as the combination of solid blocks of red, blue and yellow create the ‘positive colour contrasts’ (A. Causey, Peter Lanyon: His Painting, Henley-on-Thames, 1971, p. 28), which are further enlivened by the varied strokes, dribbles and splashes that overlay them.

It has been said that Lanyon’s colours of the early 1960s only had a ‘tenuous relationship to nature’ and were more indebted to Pop Art (ibid). In truth, all the colours found in Lanyon’s paintings are readily found in nature, including those in Two Close, while the influence of Pop, if it existed at all, seems to have been more one of providing a contemporary precedent for using such colours in painting rather than a set of ideas about modern consumer culture.

Lanyon made Two Close in the same month he painted Two Place in which two forms, easily seen as figures, seem to embrace each other. In Two Close the figurative element is less apparent, but there is a similar sense of pairing in the way the yellow seems to cling to the red or perhaps in the near meeting at the upper right of the horizontal stroke of white along the top and the vertical one rising up the right side.

We are very grateful to Toby Treves for preparing this catalogue entry.

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