Profile: Bernard Kay, artist

bernardBernard Kay (91) was born and raised in Southport where his father owned a bicycle shop. He knew that he wanted to be an artist from the age of nine and his family supported his choice to go the Liverpool School of Art in 1943, followed by the Royal Academy School where he spent a year studying drawing. In the 1950s, he won a scholarship to study in Paris, where he was able to meet famous artists of the Paris art scene, including Maurice Esteve and Picasso. Lydia Corbett, Picasso’s “ponytail model” is still a dear friend of his. While in Paris Mr Kay studied the process of aquatint etching under Johnny Friedlaender, and his later series of etchings were sold by Editions Alecto. In France he travelled throughout the countryside and collected drawings that would form the basis for all of his architectural landscape paintings. During his early years in London he focused on large canvases in an abstract expressionist tradition, before returning to landscape paintings worked in a structured style using an earthy, muted palette. His paintings were represented by the Cork Street Gallery, Roland, Browse and Delbanco, and have been collected in galleries around the country. In the 1980s Mr Kay followed his friend, the artist Crispin Heesom to Oundle, where he has lived ever since. Although he no longer paints, he is a magpie collector of anything “lovely” that catches his eye, creating domestic still lifes that reflect his artistic vision.

Judah Stephenson
May 2018