View through open window, 1944, signed and dated 44,
Watercolour on paper, 16 ½ x 22 in. (42 x 56 cm).
‘A KIND OF SIMPLICITY’ Kenneth Rowntree
An introduction to the exhibition by Peter Riley, Young Gallery
Broad interest, keen eye, natural ability, intellect, capacity to distil images, approachable person, depth of character, sense of colour and moment in time, a feeling of adventure and discovery. These are terms which could describe a number of notable artists; what makes Kenneth Rowntree special is his capacity to bring them together in ‘a kind of simplicity’, which is very refreshing.
There is something that is quite straight forward about this artist’s development and sense of belonging, oeuvre. ‘May be it’s because he’s a Northerner….’ gritty, determined, self-assured, that his works finds a resonance to us today and still holds a special relevance.
As a curator you are always looking out for that special work, I found it for our collection in a watercolour by Rowntree titled ‘View from an Open Window’ 1944, undoubtedly part of the Recording Britain series. Rowntree captures through economical watercolour technique, a singular moment in time that is evocative of those perplexing days.
Come and see it yourself, along with a representative collection of his works. A centenary exhibition, organised by Harry Moore-Gwyn, Sacha Llewellyn and Paul Liss.