• Artists
  • Artists
  • Artists
  • Artists
  • Artists

Kenneth Martin British, 1905-1984

Kenneth Martin is a key figure in post-war British art. He, his wife Mary Martin and Victor Pasmore were central to the Constructivist movement in Britain, which brought a new approach to the tradition of abstraction pioneered by Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the 1930s.

 

He exhibited with the London Group from 1936 and turned to abstraction in 1949. He participated in the three exhibitions organised 1952-3 by Adrian Heath in his studio at 22 Fitzroy Street. By integrating architectural, pictorial and sculptural elements, these shows exemplified 'an art of the environment', the subject of Kenneth Martin's essay in the second manifesto, Broadsheet No.2, 1952. He expanded on this in an unpublished paper of 1955, 'Architecture, Machine and Mobile', quoted in the Kenneth Martin exhibition catalogue, Yale Center for British Art, 1979.

 

These rare linocuts are two of a number of prints made in the early 1950s, examples of which are in the collections of Tate Britain and the British Museum. They share an austere beauty.