Michael Ayrton (British, 1921-1975) Sombre Landscape 76.2 x 101.6 cm. (30 x 40 in.)
Lot 12AR W
Michael Ayrton
(British, 1921-1975)
Sombre Landscape 76.2 x 101.6 cm. (30 x 40 in.)
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 16,000 - 24,000

Lot Details
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921-1975)
Sombre Landscape
signed and dated 'michael ayrton 61-62' (upper left)
oil, sand and collage on canvas
76.2 x 101.6 cm. (30 x 40 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Private Collection, U.K.

    EXHIBITED:
    London, Matthiesen Gallery, House Show, 8 February-3 March 1962, cat.no.3 (ill.b&w)

    LITERATURE:
    Jacob Nyenhuis, Myth and the Creative Process; Michael Ayrton and the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 2003, p.234, cat.no.232

    The present work is one of a series of collages which Ayrton made in Crete at the same time he was developing his idiosyncratic understanding of the myths of Daedalus, Icarus and the Minotaur. He was particularly fascinated by the co-existence and interaction of ancient legend and modern life in the landscape of Crete and mainland Greece. The title, Sombre Landscape, reflects his sense of an often violent and unhappy past shadowing the clear Greek sunlight. He was also exploring the ways in which the geological and archaeological strata of the land reflect each other, using the materials of collage to express the layers of earth and history. Each of the landscapes from this period contain a labyrinth which is both a natural phenomenon and an imagined construct revealed in light and shadow, generally taking roughly the form of a Greek drinking vessel known as a rhyton. Some of which featured bulls' heads, which gave them, in Ayrton's mind, an added link to the Minotaur.

    We are grateful to Dr. Justine Hopkins for compiling this catalogue entry.
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