When he joined his friend Tony O’Malley in St Ives, Frank Phelan’s life changed forever. Formerly a set designer for London’s experimental theatre scene (among other professions), he became immersed in the energetic circle of abstractionist painters and sculptors who settled in Cornwall. There he met and befriended the likes of Peter Lanyon, Patrick Hayman, Terry Frost and Roger Hilton, and was artist-in-residence at Trevaylor, Nancy Wynne-Jones’s art centre near Penzance.
Combining gestural brushwork with bold geometry, his paintings never focus on any specific subject, but instead on the structural logic of the human body and its relationship to space.
Following studies in his native Dublin and Canada, Phelan forged a career that extended from Cornwall to Edinburgh before returning to London, where he now lives and works.
This exhibition includes over 40 recent works painted between 2001 and this year, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian Margaret Garlake, author of a major monograph on Peter Lanyon (1918-1964).