Galleries - September 2016

It’s difficult, when discussingthe work of Matthew Lanyon, not to mention his father, the painter Peter Lanyon. Difficult but possibly unfair since for Matthew, as part of a hugely talented family, the legacy of his illustrious father (he died when Matthew was 13) was not always easy to assimilate, and his early career was a conscious move alonga different trajectory. After university he spent much time travelling; training and workingas a carpenter and builder before embracingwhat now seems the inevitable full circle and beginning to paint. Some 30 years later, it is easy to see how valuable those early years were and what they have enabled him to bringto his art. Over time he has built up a vocabulary or visual language, with which he explores a landscape part real (often that of West Penwith) and part metaphysical. There are signs and symbols alongthe way that point to a back story, a mythology, a Pilgrims’ Progress or an Odyssey that recalls the aboriginal Dreamtime paintings of Australia’s indigenous people. The current exhibition at New Craftsman Gallery St Ives is titled ‘ In the Tracks of the Yellow Dog’ (also featuring sculpture by Breon O’Casey and ceramics by Rebecca Appleby), a reference to Kipling’s ‘Just So’ story read to Lanyon as a child – a dreamtime of the soul when the child is father to the man perhaps. PP As a writer on the visual arts I have always found poetry an intensely rewarding point of entry into achieving a better understanding of a work’s unconscious creative tap roots. So too, it would seem, has the well established Spanish abstract expressionist painter, Felix Anaut who has been developing his own painting style, which he dubs ‘visual music’, to describe the idea of the synaesthesia between art forms that he likes to play with in his art. In 2015 this took the form of a collaboration with the well known British-Ethiopian performance poet, Lemn Sissay whom he invited to come and work with him in his studio in France. They quickly formed a common bond, jointly expressing their thoughts in rich and playful works of art that are very much more than the sum of their parts, as you can see in the show that has been brought together by the enterprising Arundel-based gallery Zimmer Stewart at the Menier Gallery in London. The paintings are shown alongside a video presentation of Sissay’s poems being read by Dame Diana Rigg. And that isn’t quite the end of it either – Anaut is embarking at the same time on yet another project – this time some editioned, large scale ceramic pieces made in collaboration with the Raimundo Abio in Spain. A man of many parts it seems. NU There is something unmistakably autobiographical about Richard Walker’s prints. He emerged out of Camberwell and Chelsea Schools of Art at that curiously dark and troubled time of the mid- 70s, too late for the oddly innocent exuberance of the 60s, too early for glam rock and Thatcherism, but slap bang in the middle of Bowie, Eno and punk. His subjects reflect and celebrate an intensely urban Post- Pop aesthetic – the architecture and life of London and New York and the constant journeyings he made between the two cities as well as the art, music and culture he immersed himself in. This all finds a wonderfully exhilarating expression in a 40th anniversary of his printmaking practice, entitled, in celebration of the place where he feels it all began and also after the eponymous butterfly, ‘Camberwell Beauty, 40 Years of Printmaking’ showing at the Curwen Gallery . Artistically, Rauschenberg, Warhol and Hamilton were all key, also Richter and Polke, but Walker’s artistic voice is always very much his own, layered and subtle, joyful and poignant. NU A RT I STS 8 GALLERIES SEPTEMBER 2016 M atthew Lanyon Felix Anaut Richard Walker