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Michael Kenny RA, ARCANGEL

ARCANGEL, 1984-85

Michael Kenny RA (1941 - 1999)

RA Collection: Art

Michael Kenny's Diploma work ARCANGEL reflects his interest in giving physical form to spiritual concerns. Composed of geometrical wooden sections, the uprights rest on an integral horizontal plane made up of rough-edged floorboards. This work marks a renewed interest in relief sculpture, which engaged Kenny in the 1980s.

In 1981 he wrote:

'Most of my sculpture does involve the use of several materials and is frontal and planar, dealing with a kind of transition from a vertical to a horizontal plane. I don't like the word 'base' because that implies something separate, considered afterwards, whereas the horizontal plane is an intimate part of the work from its very inception, encapsulating the figure in its own world by laying out its area of land.'

Although primarily a sculptor, Kenny made many drawings and prints of sculptural forms and as in the case of ARCANGEL, painted and drew upon his sculptures. His work was informed by a lifelong interest in philosophy, metaphysics and the natural sciences as well as the sculpture of Alberto Giacometti, the still formality of Japanese temple gardens and innate spirituality of ancient megalithic monuments.

Michael Kenny studied at Liverpool College of Art (1959-61) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1961-64). He was visiting lecturer at the Slade during the 1970s and later became Head of Fine Art at Goldsmiths' College London (1983-1988) and the City and Guilds Art School. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1976 and a Royal Academician in 1986.

Object details

Michael Kenny RA (1941 - 1999)
Object type
Copyright owner
Wood and oil paint

3040 mm x 2710 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Michael Kenny RA accepted 1987
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