Matthew Lanyon Cornish, 1951-2016

  • Matthew Lanyon, Free Coal, 2013
    Matthew Lanyon
    Free Coal, 2013
    oil on board
    signed, titled and dated to reverse
    30.5 x 109.2 cm
    12 x 43 in
  • Matthew Lanyon, Europa XIV, 2006
    Matthew Lanyon
    Europa XIV, 2006
    oil on canvas
    signed, titled and dated on reverse
    121.92 x 152.4 cm
    48 x 60 in.
  • Matthew Lanyon, Low Tide III, 2006
    Matthew Lanyon
    Low Tide III, 2006
    oil on board
    signed, titled and dated to reverse
    h 19.1 x w 48.9 cm
    7 1/2 x 19 1/4 in
  • Matthew Lanyon, Europa X, 2003
    Matthew Lanyon
    Europa X, 2003
    oil on board
    signed, titled and dated on reverse board
    122 x 106 cm
    48 1/8 x 41 3/4 inches
  • Matthew Lanyon, Europa XIV, 2003
    Matthew Lanyon
    Europa XIV, 2003
    oil on board
    initialled 'ML' and dated '03' lower right,
    and further signed, titled and dated to reverse
    h 26.5 x w 26.5 cm
    h 10 3/8 x w 10 3/8 in

Matthew Lanyon passed away on 6th November 2016.


 ‘I was born in St Ives, Cornwall in 1951, one of six. My father was Peter Lanyon – a landscape painter who became a major figure in the world of art.


‘Shortly before he died in 1964, as the result of a gliding accident, we spent some days together in his studio making a model aircraft. We made prototype wings out of polystyrene and tried to strengthen them with muslin and glue–size. Years later I read what someone had written about his painting ‘Clevedon Night’, which had these two prototype wings attached to the canvas. They might be 'boats bobbing up and down' but I knew what they were. They weren't boats. But it doesn't matter whether this was true or not. That isn't the point – we read our own life into paintings.


‘It was not until 1988 that I began to take my artwork seriously. At that time I was drawing and painting every morning with my son, in the days before he went to school. He always had the best titles. I'd ask him about one of his drawings and he'd say with the absolute sincerity of a four-year-old, “Three Cows Walking on the Water”.


‘Between my father and my son I had begun to address the problem of what anything is, or is meant to be in a painting. If cows could walk on water and bits of polystyrene that were once wings can bob up and down like boats, then painting is alive and the better for being marginalised by all the exquisite distractions of sound and movement.’