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Michael Ayrton
"Icarus Suspended" Abstract Mythical Figurative Mixed Media

1960

Price Upon Request

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“Icarus Suspended” is an extraordinary painting of Ayrton's obsession with flight, myths, mirrors and mazes. This complex piece shows a figure in flight, frozen in action, either swooping down or, perhaps, falling to earth. Named after the Greek mythological figure, Icarus, who along with his father attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Flying too close to the sun the wax melted and both fell to earth. The positioning of Ayrton's figure is reminiscent of "The Fall of Icarus" by Jacob Peter Gowy, Museo Nacional del Prado. This is part of a series of artworks on Icarus some sculptural and some three-dimensional paintings on canvas. Verso contains gallery label Matthiesen Gallery, 142 Bond St., London, England, with a signature and text in upper right corner: "To Morton Schotnick. Bought on the occasion of The Archives of American Arts Tour to London, England. October 10, 1961. Michael Ayrton" His varied output of sculptures, illustrations, poems and stories reveals an obsession with flight, myths, mirrors and mazes. “Icarus Suspended” is a perfect depiction of his obsession with flight and particularly the Greek mythological figure, Icarus, who is featured in numerous of Ayrton’s pieces. Ayrton was an English artist and writer, renowned as a painter, printmaker, sculptor and designer, and also as a critic, broadcaster and novelist. He was a stage and costume designer, working with John Minton on the 1942, John Gielgud production of Macbeth at the age of nineteen, and a book designer and illustrator for Wyndham Lewis's The Human Age trilogy. His work is in several important collections including the Tate Gallery, London, National Portrait Gallery, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Fry Art Gallery, Essex.

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