Saturday, 24 September 2011

kenneth lawson (1920 - 2008)

There is something quite beautiful about the way Kenneth Lawson painted - the elegance of his brush stoke, the confidence of his colour palette. I'm delighted to showing five of his paintings at thewhitegallery this autumn.

During his early years as an artist in Dulwich, Kenneth's mentor was the Royal Academician, James Fitton. Kenneth exhibited with the 'London Group' at Burlington House and at major London galleries, including the Leger and the Redfern.

His working life revolved around the theatre, working as a scenic artist and designer for the Royal Opera House and Convent Garden and in 1951 he was approached by Graham Sutherland to assist with his large painting, 'The Origins of the Land' for the Festival of Britain. The painting was created at the Tate, and has remained there ever since.

During the 50's and 60's Kenneth worked at the BBC in Manchester, designing for television and then in the 1980's he returned to the theatre, collaborting on seven operas for the South Yorkshire Opera Company at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, including sets for 'Madame Butterfly' and 'Tosca'.

Retirement allowed Kenneth to concentrate once again on painting, inspired by visits to the Algave, Madeira and Italy's Amalfi coast.

During his lifetime, Kenneth's work was exhibited widely across the north west, at Gallery Oldham, Touchstones Rochdale, Salford Museum and Art Gallery and the Whitworth in Manchester. Many of his works also reside in private collections in the UK, France, Holland and the US.