Leo Kenney - Surrealism and Abstraction

Leo Kenney (1925–2001) was an American abstract painter, described by critics as a leading figure in the second generation of the 'Northwest School' of artists.
At a young age Kenney had read Salvador Dalí's autobiography and the works of poet André Breton, and had become fascinated with surrealism. The influence is plain in his dark, figurative works of the 1940s and '50s. Taking Breton's proclamation that «only the marvelous is beautiful» to heart, he painted «automatically», without conscious planning. Except for a few portraits done for friends, he never tried to reproduce reality in his paintings, always searching instead for deeper meaning.
«He never saw the world as others see it,» said a longtime friend and patron, Merch Pease. «His work is highly personal. It's pure invention.»

 

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