AboutUpstairs: Peter Lanyon has been recognised as one of the most gifted artists of his generation. An abstract painter of extraordinary vigour and energy, throughout the 1950s he established his personal vocabulary of gestural movement in and across the canvas. However, Lanyon's work started to change direction around the end of 1962. Comprising works made between 1962 and 1964, this exhibition explores his shift in focus and materials. Although it wasn't a radical break with his earlier work, these paintings, drawings and constructions, made shortly before his untimely death in a gliding accident, utilise very strong colour, have sharper edged forms and are less specifically tied to the Cornish landscapes of his home.
Downstairs: Emily Jo Sargent - 100 Pictures of Coney Island
In this exhibition Emily Jo Sargent will present new paintings from her ongoing series, 100 Pictures of Coney Island. Between 1997 and 1999 Sargent spent nine months living in New York and these works, created since her return, embody a sense of both longing and hope.
Whilst living in New York, Sargent visited Coney Island, the faded seaside resort, famously described in Lou Reed's 1976 album, Coney Island Baby. But rather than depict the fairground and the peninsula's faded glory, Sargent has chosen to focus on the natural environment and a rare moment: her paintings depict the beaches, deserted and covered in snow. Eschewing the familiar imagery of the rusting funfair and Nathan's hot-dog stands, the paintings instead concentrate on the snow-covered beach under heavy skies. Each work is a careful arrangement of flat painted areas that dovetail together to capture the essence of a momentary experience. Depicting still waters and the quiet, unpopulated rocky shoreline, Sargent challenges the transitory nature of the scene, freezing it in time.