The Kenneth Webb Foundation
In the December Exhibition at the RDS, I remember looking at the extraordinary paintings and the videos of Kenneth painting them. In the New Inspiration Room (This can be seen in the Virtual Exhibition Room 2), I was drawn into thoughts…
We often separate our lives into parts like family, friends, work, and mostly we focus through the narrow view of a magnifying glass. We cannot see well the overall purpose or importance of our lives… How we have affected the people we have met or helped and how those small things may have helped to shape the future. If we look beyond the day to day, what will be our legacy?
When Kenneth was painting, the fast motion videos captured that genius and creativity in its fine detail. If you watch carefully, there will be moments when something stops the flow and it is not quite right. Kenneth will stand back, gaze and step forward and make a small correction with the tiniest of brush strokes and all flows again. It is that commitment, perhaps the connection between the great artist and his canvas. This is the “Covenant”.
One of the fringe benefits of age and being 92 is that your drive to impress is replaced with an inner drive and Covenant between yourself and your work. Watch Kenneth here, and see as he transforms himself into a young man with all this energy. Remarkable as it seems, his paintings become more ambitious, more vibrant, and he reaches for immortality in everything he paints. This room we have aptly named “New Inspiration”.
The three paintings “Genesis”, “Covenant” and “Revelation” were presented with the videos as the most complete Provenance of the Artist painting them. This only captures the start, the nuance, the genesis, as a complete picture would be measured in months or years. However, most often in that first day, the template is set for a truly great painting. Above is the latest masterpiece to join with the other 3, called “Illumination”.
If we now stand back and look at Kenneth’s achievements with a “Time Binoculars”, we can see beyond and before. Those of us that can see and accurately predict the future, can see that there are few such great artists that will join the ranks of Picasso or Warhol in their paintings being sought and sold for over 100 million dollars. Warhol turned Art into a commodity and in doing so, he and his legacy keep him at top of the lists of most expensive painting. Whether you consider this Art or not, he sold a painting for 17 million dollars, 11 years after his death. Picasso for all his brilliance had an ample share of arrogance and possibly saw or imagined his place in the future selling a painting 15 years after his death for 38 million dollars.
Kenneth’s art today is between him and his painting and the Kenneth Webb Foundation, with the great help of Gladwell & Patterson, try our best to preserve this legacy for future generations. We are fortunate to have, in his time, these wonderful videos and records of who Kenneth Webb is. The easy accessibility of “media devices” makes this effort different than in the time of Monet where posterity only has fleeting glimpses of the time of his creativity. We are fortunate in being able to capture so much material directly from Kenneth and what surrounds him as a treasure trove for the future.
Our efforts brought together a remarkable collection of painting from every direction to make this a monumental show of his works, hung together in a one time only event. Together with Kenneth’s friends, dealers and family, we celebrated his achievement with him and you are asked to join us in that by taking the time to look through the Virtual Exhibition.