Mid-century Painting, 'Mortar and Pestle,' Horas Kennedy (1917-1997)
Inspired by sun-filled vistas of the Mediterranean Kennedy paints with indescribable richness. Emerald joins amethyst, vivacious limes neighbour acid yellows, brilliant warm seas with inky blue depths. Yet, in this riot of colours, an abstracted order, everything it its place, architecturally observed and beautifully crafted.
About the Artist
Kennedy spent most of his youth in Penwith. His great grandfather was Thomas Millie Dow who took on and bought Talland house in St Ives from the Stevens (Virginia Woolf's parents ).
They had two daughters Elsie who acquired Tremadda farm in Zennor and married a local farmer Maurice Griggs, and Mary who married the Bloomsbury architect George Kennedy and were based in Chelsea . Elsie had 4 daughters and Mary the mother of Horas had 5 sons. These cousins were of similar age and remained very close throughout their lives.
George and Mary were connected and friends with many artists and Bloomsbury friends including Stanley and Gilbert Spencer, Henry Lamb, Augustus John and Mathew Smith.
Horas’s cousin Richard Kennedy, the well known Bloomsbury illustrator and artist worked with Leonard and Virginia at the Hogarth Press and published books about his life with them, 'A Boy at the Hogarth Press,' being one of them.
Spending much time in St Ives, Kennedy became acquainted with artists of that time. He became a particularly good friend of Peter Lanyon with whom he had been to school. The Kennedys and Landons remained friends for many years.
Art was a major factor in the lives of the Kennedy boys.
Horas went to Gordonston and then on to kings college Cambridge where he studied languages, history and economics. He studied for the diplomatic service and spent most of his professional life in the foreign office in sub-tropical countries and the Mediterranean. This had a marked affect on his palette as a painter. Mostly his paintings have a lively Mediterranean feel about them, especially his still life.
He however delighted the local community with his humorous and Wallis-like carved, painted birds and naive boats. The boats have long since been bought up by collectors. An example of this type of work can be seen in the village hall in Nancledra where a naive wall hanging can be seen depicting local life in the Nancledra , Cripplease area.
Kennedy's various exhibitions included Oxford the Brampton Art Centre, where he exhibited with Richard Kennedy, and the Henley Art Centre. He showed in Newlyn at the Duke Street Gallery and has had various posthumous shows locally . Some paintings have been shown at the Market House Gallery in Marazion . Some paintings have been auctioned at Sotheby's and Christie’s.
Newly framed, ready to hang.
Frame: Width X Height
CM: 57 x 47
Inches: 22 1/2 x 18 1/2
CM: 56 x 46
Inches: 22 x 18
Medium: Oil on Board
Provenance: British School (Studio sale signed verso by artist's daughter Lucinda Kennedy)