Marcus Lanyon

After graduating from the Royal College of Art, Lanyon was selected as one of the Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s ‘4 New Sensations’. His work is included in the Zabludowicz Collection. He currently lives and works in Bristol, UK.

Recently short-listed for the Bristol Temple Quarter’s Gateway Project, Lanyon’s proposal is to utilise ‘reverse graffiti’ – a method of creating temporary or semi-permanent images on walls/streets or other surfaces by removing dirt from a surface – to create a visual network of quotes, historical and contemporary information across the floors and walls of Temple Meads that will inform, inspire and entertain visitors to Bristol.

Utilising a hybrid language of materials, Lanyon hovers between the seduction of the corporeal and the entropic bite of the uncanny; the familiar, formal, decorative and symbolic rendered subversive. Shifting into narratives that weave the quiet violence of mortality with simultaneously contemporary and ancient human concerns, the work lures us in only to quietly lift a knife to our back….

“The lexicon of matter is diverse. Gleaming porcelain, recalling Hellenistic and ornamental ideals, is reconfigured as a potent, shattered material of concern and discomfort. The binding of cloth becomes a signifier of both loving preservation and sadistic restraint, a refusal and impotent barrier against the inevitable. The savage implications of a dismembered jaw bone or smooth section of skull form a satisfying contrast with the gleaming whiteness of plaster, merging sculptural formality with a latent, mythic taxidermy. The benign and the kitsch become predatory or hunted; Little Miss Muffet drools from her zombified rictus across a landscape filled with her infected brethren, shiny and gleaming, whilst in the distance a kitten is eviscerated in a pleasing monotonal contrast of murder. Amputated, repositioned limbs are forced to endlessly chase their own tail in circles, blinded by the very bandage that will allow such wounds to heal.

Paintings, prints and drawings deploy the seductive disquiet further, where symmetry and outline reflect out in quick aesthetic satisfaction, whilst hovering on the edge of threat, anxiety and infiltration; a disembodied leg, hollow, ritually-crazed rabbits, flashes of sci-fi and ambiguous mechanized limbs all forming a glossy, illustrative surface that upon further inspection wishes to firmly poke us in the eye.

These works inhabit a space between the false comfort of the under-bed, the home and rose-tinted memory, and a contemporary nightmare space, where danger lurks around every corner and within every unknown, more fitting, reassuring totems of meditation for our current age of panic.” ML

Marcus was a member of NEON, a group of like-minded artists sharing a passion and a commitment, a belief in excellence, ambition and hard work. NEON is a quest for truth and for beauty and was formed in 2012 from a small group of artists from different disciplines but similar attitudes. Fellow members were Emma Caton, Rowdy, Jack Addis, Harry Simmonds, Ben Risk, Olivia Croce and Lucy Rogers.

A Selection of Works
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In the Press

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