Bernard Kay (British 1927-2021)

Bernard Kay, painter, printmaker and teacher. Kay was born and raised in Southport where his father owned a bicycle shop. He knew that he wanted to be an artist from the age of nine and his family supported that choice. After attending the Liverpool School of Art in 1943, he continued his stuadies at the Royal Academy School, 1947-8. He won a scholarship through the French Government to study under Johnny Friedlander at the Atelier Friedlander and the Academy Ranson in 1954 and 1955.  It was his time in Paris through his scholarship that he met and mixed with many of the famous artists of the Paris art scene, including Maurice Esteve and Picasso. Lydia Corbett, Picasso’s “ponytail model” was a lifelong friend.
While in Paris, he studied the process of aquatint etching under the pioneering artist Johnny Friedlaender. It was during this time that he travelled throughout the French countryside and collected drawings that would form the basis for his architectural landscape paintings. Upon his return he began teaching at various art colleges including Southport, Wimbledon and Birmingham. During his years in London he was part of the “London Scene” being friends with David Hockney, Nicky Clarke etc. He focused on large canvases in an abstract expressionist tradition, before returning to landscape paintings worked in a structured style using an earthy, muted palette.

He began exhibiting his work from 1940, but also has exhibitions at St. Georges Gallery, 1953-63; Editions Alecto in 1963; Roland, Browse and Delanco from 1957-70, having two solo shows with them in 1960 and 1962. His work can be found in various public collections.

In the 1980s Bernard “migrated” to Oundle in Northamptonshire, where he lived until his death in May 2021.

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