We are very sad to hear of the death of Ken Kendall. Ken exhibited at Jonathan Grant Galleries for over 20 years and during that time became well known to our many friends and clients.
Ken Kendall was born and raised in New Zealand. From early childhood he was deeply interested in modelling the human figure. For some years he taught art at intermediate and high schools in his home city of Auckland. In 1970 he became a professional sculptor. In the early seventies he worked exclusively in terracotta, exhibiting extensively in New Zealand, Australia and in 1973, Washington DC. In 1978, whilst on a study trip to Europe, he turned his attention to the lost wax process of bronze casting. On his return to Auckland he set up, in close association with his Dutch wife Johanna, a studio and foundry for producing his unique and limited edition bronzes.
His works are in the boardrooms of many New Zealand public companies and an increasing number of collectors from Europe and the United States are not only buying his works, but also commissioning bronzes from Kendall. Permanent collections in New Zealand, Australia, America, United Kingdom and Europe display ‘Kendall’ masterworks. In April 1994 Kendall exhibited a group of bronzes in London in association with the Shakespearean Globe Theatre Trust. He believes that Shakespeare had to operate a little like a modern television scriptwriter – producing plays on demand for players at the Globe, of which he was a part owner. The exhibition was in conjunction with the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre.
In 1997 Kendall was commissioned by the Diocesan School in Auckland to do a charming life-size bronze of a young girl for the entrance hall of the Junior School. His lovely Joanna was met with such success that he was also commissioned to sculpt a bronze work of a senior girl. In 1999 he was commissioned by the Masterton City Council to do a life-size bronze of Russian Jack for its city park. His most recent commission was a life-size bronze of the Masterton founder Joseph Masters. This stands in the main street of Masterton in the Wairarapa where Ken lived until he died on 27th February 2012.