Kenneth Martin 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, 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 He expanded on this in an unpublished paper of 1955, 'Architecture, Machine and Mobile', quoted in the Kenneth Martin exhibition catalogue, Yale Center for British Art, 1979.



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