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date: 22 November 2019

Kemp, Rogerlocked

(b Bendigo, 1908; d Sept 14, 1987).
  • Patrick McCaughey


(b Bendigo, 1908; d Sept 14, 1987).

Australian painter and tapestry designer. Largely self-taught and self-educated, he was influenced early in his career by theosophy, seeing in painting the means of unveiling the hidden order of things. Although admired by a small circle of artists and critics throughout the 1950s, it was not until the end of the 1960s that Kemp began to gain wider public esteem and support. He won some of the larger art prizes in Australia during the 1960s, including the Georges Invitation Art Award, the McCaughey and the Blake Prize for religious art in 1969. Around this time his work changed greatly, increasing in scale and painterly freedom.

On an extended visit to England in 1970–72 Kemp worked on a monumental and epic scale, and the experience shaped his later work, which united architectonic design with a full flowing painterliness. In the 1980s he received a steady stream of tapestry commissions, the most notable being for a series of large-scale tapestries to decorate the Great Hall in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne....

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