Rockwell Kent  1882-1971

 

After the death of his father when he was only five, the wealth that Rockwell Kent was born into receded into genteel poverty.  Changes in fortune would characterize Kent’s life and a concern for equality would be one of the pillars of his philosophy, guiding that part of his career that centered on illustration and printmaking. Kent’s woodcuts and his illustrated editions of such classics as Moby Dick and the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare—peoples’ artworks—remain icons of American publishing. Kent became a kind of circumpolar wanderer, visiting Alaska, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Tierra del Fuego, wintry worlds that reflected his fascination with Norse and Icelandic mythology (Kent named his farm “Asgaard” in honor of the Norse Olympus) and suited the arrangements of stark masses and sharp, jagged lines that characterize his paintings.  Kent’s Modernistic approach to Nature—the second pillar of his philosophy—is entirely his own, inflected with a spiritual sense of forms reduced to their Platonic essence. Many artists, including Canada’s Lawren Stewart Harris—who owned a photograph of one of Kent’s Tierra del Fuego paintings were influenced by Kent. Indeed, Kent’s influence continues to be felt in works by contemporary artists like Tom Uttech.

 

 

Rockwell Kent

Rockwell Kent

Virgin Peaks,Tierra del Fuego

Oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower right

27 x 43 inches

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