Bo Lanyon

About Bo

Bo Lanyon

Bo Lanyon is a Cornish-Irish artist, living & working in Bristol, UK. Working across sculpture, painting & digital, the work explores an entangled landscape of experience: connection, communication, distance & hope. Thematically, the work connects across mediums, often extracting elements from paintings to bring into the world as digital & cast sculpture through cutting edge printing & casting techniques. On graduation from the Royal College of Art in 2007, he was selected as one of the first Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4's New Sensations. His work is included in major collections such as the Zabludowicz Collection, has received a number of awards from Arts Council England and has exhibited widely.

Recent projects include a forthcoming major commission for the Moxy Hotel in Bristol & his podcast for Bricks explored how artists working now have responded to the legacy of the St. Ives School, speaking with artists Lucy Stein, Hannah Murgatroyd and musician Gwenno on inspiration, ancient Cornish fougous, living with the dead and the lasting influence of his grandfather, Peter Lanyon. Forthcoming projects include his first solo exhibition in his native Cornwall at Auction House, Redruth, (October 2022).

Lanyon’s paintings embrace both figurative and abstract forms, where highly detailed elements hover over expressive grounds of colour and mark-making - multiplanar explorations of a landscape where 2D, 3D & 360 perspectives merge. Recognisable elements, such as the hand and knot motif, act as a bridge between points of view, a form of instructional graphic for navigating both interior and exterior space. The linework is fine & precise, recognisable elements offering narrative routes into the story of the painting. The expressive, abstracted ground on which they sit is ambiguous & emotive, using colour, shape & form to create a sense of tension, experience & movement.

Recent digital work, Enfolding, explores concealment, emergence and our desire to connect across the space between us. A pair of golden hands rotate, hold & release in a clear, black void, a landscape of absence. Draped, sinuous material clings, spirals, gathers & flows across them. It draws tightly as it intertwines, then unfurling, retracting, exposing and obscuring. Landscape here is navigated as a place of tension through the digital possibilities of altered, programmable physics, where materials deceive or forces act against type; human yet shimmering gold, metal flowing like cloth, we are unsure of exactly what we are seeing or when. An intentionally subtle intervention in the art historical language and landscape of classical sculpture, the subversion is more of a whisper than a shout, a seductive unease, using the material allure of glossy digital splendour to invite further attention.

Selected solo exhibitions include: The Death of Optimus Prime, Test Space, Spike Island, Bristol, UK March 1 -17, 2019; Age of Panic, White Moose Gallery, Barnstaple, UK April 21 – June 10, 2017. Selected group exhibitions include: In Absentia, TURPS Painters Group Show, online, Feb 14 - May 30 2021; The London Bronze Collection, Squire & Partners, London,UK, May 1 - 13, 2019; The First World War & its Legacy: Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience Festival, Bristol Cathedral & M-Shed, Bristol, UK, April 26 - May 31; Where It Is, There It Is, Auction House, Redruth, Groundwork Programme, Cornwall, UK, Sep. 1-30, 2018; Plymouth Contemporary 2017, Peninsula Arts & KARST, Plymouth, UK, July 15 – Sep 2, 2017.

/* Recognisable elements, such as the hand and knot motif, act as a bridge between points of view, a form of instructional graphic for navigating both interior and exterior space */

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