Ginger Hill (Dated 1961)
About this artwork
Lanyon stated that his “paintings…are not abstract, nor are they landscape. They use abstraction as a method and landscape experience as a source”. Viewed in this context, ‘Ginger Hill’ displays the sensuality and openness that emerged in Lanyon’s work following his experiences in a glider. The strong, deliberate black line is suggestive of a glider’s path across an autumnal aerial landform. It also shows the influence of Abstract Expressionism, with parallels visible to the work of American artist Franz Kline. Lanyon was extremely interested in the concept of ‘place’ and the relationship between the body and landscape. In this vein, it has been suggested that ‘Ginger Hill’ is the male counterpart to a similar painting by Lanyon called ‘Eastern Shore’.
Lanyon was born in St Ives, Cornwall. He was friends with the artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, who moved to the St Ives area in 1939. Although Lanyon's work from the late-1940s onwards appears to be entirely abstract, its point of reference is the Cornish and West Country landscape. However, instead of reproducing the countryside naturalistically, Lanyon's main concern was to evoke space and air and the sensations of nature. In 1959 he began gliding - an experience which had a profound effect on his later work. Lanyon died in 1964 following a gliding accident.