Monet in Mind – Roger Lanyon

Posted: 17th May 2021

Humber Museums Partnership - Monet in Mind – Roger Lanyon

b.1918 – d.1964
Dry Grass 1959
Oil on canvas
Peter Lanyon’s preferred subject matter was nature and the elements.
His abstract paintings capture the essence of the St Ives landscape where Lanyon was part of a community of artists.
The energy he drew from the Cornish landscape is conveyed in Dry Grass.
The great slashing strokes of paint suggest wind-blown grass at the top of high cliffs. The power of the sea is evoked by the frothy white area of freely applied paint.
Lanyon took up gliding to gain a unique view of the landscape. Tragically he died aged 46 following a gliding accident.

Samuel Courtauld, the founder of The Courtauld, wrote poetry about the artworks in his collection. Following in his footsteps many years later, young people aged 16-25 from The Warren Youth Project in Hull, were inspired to compose their own creative writing.

“Based on Dry Grass 1959”
I’m on my knees. The white sun with bleaching eyes weighs heavy below. The white wave with salting tongue drags down above. I’m on my knees. The dry grass scratches and scrambles at my skin, and it is begging too. Let there be rain. Let there be rain.

By Sarah Magaharan

“Does Dry Grass Grow?”

Based on ‘Dry Grass’, 1959
Does dry grass grow?
Can wet trees die?

Does dry paint run?
Can wet walls stick?

Does dry hair crack?
Can wet lips split?

Does dry mean good?
Can wet be bad?

Does dry hate water?
Can wet say sorry?

Does dry make peace?
Can wet stay friends?

Does dry make us warm?
Can wet keep us clean?

By Andrew Gooch