Peter Lanyon 'San Antonio Collage'
Lot 129
Peter Lanyon (British, 1918-1964) San Antonio Collage 56.8 x 61.6 cm. (22 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.)
Sold for £43,200 (US$ 72,568) inc. premium
Lot Details
Peter Lanyon (British, 1918-1964)
San Antonio Collage
signed, inscribed and dated, 'Lanyon 63/san antonio collage' (verso), further signed, inscribed and dated 'U.S./Lanyon/San Antonio Collage/63.' (on the backboard)
mixed media
56.8 x 61.6 cm. (22 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.)


    Acquired directly from the artist by the parents of the present owner
    Private Collection, Ireland

    In 1962, Lanyon expressed interest in what he termed 'frontier civilisations', places that avoided the orderliness of Britain. It is no surprise then that the following year, he journeyed to Texas for a two month sojourn at the Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute in San Antonio. This remains a Modern Art museum to this day.

    Whilst based in Texas, he also travelled to Mexico which had a considerable impact on his work. The colour and light of this 'primitive' environment manifested itself on paper and canvas in bright reds, pinks and ochres. A separate contributing factor to this more dynamic palette was surely the birth of American 'pop art'. Lanyon openly admitted that he found it difficult to fathom in any sort of academic sense but simply that he 'enjoyed it'.

    Executed in 1963, the present work is an important large scale example from the final years of the artist's life, before his tragic death the next year. Unlike many artists, his last work remains innovatory. Still only in his mid 40s, he kept moving forward, seeking modernism in new and exciting ways. The collage elements and vibrant hues lend San Antonio an immediacy that was absent from earlier Cornish work.

    The present auction record for a work on paper by Peter Lanyon was achieved in these rooms on 14 June 2005 (£37,200 for Boulder Coast).
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