Spencer Swaffer

Gabon Mask

Gabon Mask

Ref: 119875

Gabon tribal mask with incised line markings coloured by black and white pigments. 


Provenance: The collection of  Bernard Kay, an English artist in oil and watercolour paintingd and engraving, who commenced working in the post Second World War period. Born and brought up in Southport, in what was then Lancashire. 


Kay was born on February 12th 1927. Attending school in Southport, he later studied at the Liverpool School of Art from 1943 to 1946, and subsequently at the Royal. Academy School of Painting in London from 1948 to 1949. He taught drawing at the Southport School of Art and Crafts (1950-52) and etching at the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts. Kay moved to London permanently in 1953. In 1954 he won a French government scholarship for painting, and studied at the Academie Ronson in Paris from 1954 to 1955, moving on to study etching at the Atelier Friedlander, also in Paris. Kay was one of a number of post war English artists whose work was exhibitioned in group shows and individually in London in the 1950's and attracted favourable attention from national critics. 


Kay exhibited at the Archer Gallery in London, and the Southport Summer Exhibition of Modern Art in 1954. A collection of his engravings was shwon at the Galerie La Hune, Paris, in February 1955. His work featured inthe Daily Express Young Arists' Exhibitions in London, also in 1955. Kay showed at the Obelisk gallery in London in 1956 and at an exhibition mounted by Roland Browse and Delbanco in London from November 1956 to January 1957. Thereafter his work appeared in the Christmas exhibitions staged by Roland Browse and Delbanco from 1957 thriough to 1962. Kays first one man exhibition was held in tandem with Norman Adams under the auspices of Browse and Delbanco in January 1959, while a further one man exhibition was held uner the same auspices with Phillip Sutton in March 1962. He also contributed to the 'Cathedrals' Suite of Etching of the Editions Alecto published in Spring 1966.

From 1955 through to the late 1960's Kay undertook a series of etchings in conjunction with the St George's Gallery, London. In 1965 he published a series of aquantints known as the 'Cathedral Suite'


Bernard Kay's work has been purchased for their permanent collections by a number of leading institutions. These have included: the Adelaide Museum of Modern Art, The Harris Art Gallery, Preston, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, The Seattle Art Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Council, The Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, The Cartwright Art Gallery, Bradford. 

In addition Kay's paintings and etchings have sold well to private collectors in the UK and overseas and his work has appeared in American Vogue Magazine.

Measurements: H: 74cm (29.1")  W: 33cm (13")  


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