One of several important artists living in St. Ives, Cornwall, in the early 20th century, printmaker and painter Peter Lanyon was one of the leading exponents of Abstract Expressionism in Britain. In his early career, Lanyon was influenced by abstract artists such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and the Russian Constructivist Naum Gabo. After World War II, however, he rejected formalist concerns for more direct references to the local landscape, focusing on Cornwall’s natural environment, communities, and industries. “It is impossible for me to make a painting which has no reference to the very powerful environment in which I live,” he once said. Later, under the influence of Abstract Expressionism, his forms became looser and more expansive. Some of his final works were inspired by hang gliding, which he took up to explore the Cornish coastline, an activity that led to his untimely death in an accident in 1964.