Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Kenneth Rowntree (1915-1997)   BIOGRAPHY

 SOLD
 
Portrait of Sasha, aged four 1951
Framed (ref: 6795)
Oil on canvas
Signed with initials
13 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (35 x 27 cm.) 

 


Provenance: The Artist's Estate


Literature: John Milner, Kenneth Rowntree, Lund Humphries, 2002, p.44


This painting dates to 1951, a crucial year for Rowntree in which he contributed The Freedom Muoral to the Festival of Britain.'The year 1951 presented great opportunities for the Royal College of Art and for Rowntree.  Hugh Casson, Professor of Interior Design at the College, played a central role in the Festival of Britain staged on the south bank of the Thames opposite Charing Cross Station, to celebrate surviving World War II and to launch Britain into an optimistic era of reconstruction.  Hugh Casson knew that the Lion and Unicorn Pavilion in particular could be a showpiece for the Royal College of Art and he deliberately gave projects to College staff' (John Milner, Kenneth Rowntree, p 46).



Kenneth Rowntree (1915-1997)

Painter, illustrator, artist in collage and murals, draughtsman and teacher, born in Scarborough, Yorkshire. He studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, under Albert Rutherston, 1934–35, and at the Slade under Randolph Schwabe. During World War II he participated in the Pilgrim Trust Recording Britain project and was an Official War Artist. He had his first one-man exhibition at Leicester Galleries in 1946; other one-man shows followed at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Zwemmer Gallery, New Art Centre, and the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with a retrospective at Hatton Gallery there in 1980. In 1949 he became a tutor at RCA, a post he held until 1958. In 1959 he became Professor of Fine Arts, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, succeeding Lawrence Gowing; he held the position until 1980. In 1992 a touring retrospective was organinsed, starting in Newtown. Group shows included NEAC, AIA and RSW. He became a member of the Society of Mural Painters in 1943, taught mural painting at the Royal College of Art for 10 years from 1948, and received a Ford Foundation Grant to visit America in 1959. In 1948 he illustrated A Prospect of Wales. Murals completed include those for Barclay School, Stevenage, 1946, RMS Orsova and Iberia, 1954, and the British Pavilion at Brussels International Exhibition in 1958. In 1951 he painted murals for the Lion and Unicorn Pavilion at the Festival of Britain. Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum and WAC are among many public owners of his work. Rowntree’s pictures reflect the genial and witty nature of the artist, usually being landscapes and townscapes in which the elements have a toy-like neatness and familiar notations are employed. In the post-war years he also painted a considerable number of abstract (and semi-abstract) works. His work is sometimes signed with just his initials. He lived at Corbridge, Northumberland.

See all works by Kenneth Rowntree