He was demobbed in 1947 and despite winning a scholarship to Slade he preferred to do the National Diploma in Art and Design in Gloucester, which he felt gave him a wider choice of practising art and which is probably accountable for the diversity of his work – from detailed book illustrations to abstract compositions.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1949 and at the age of 25 in 1952 he garnered a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts. A few years later, having attained his HDip in Education he got a job as Head of The School of Painting in Ulster College of Art Belfast. Here he worked alongside John Luke, Colin Middleton and Tom Carr
By 1954 he was exhibiting at the RHA, IELA, RUA. He started weekend schools for amateur artists, assisted by Maurice Wilks and Gladys Maccabe among others. This would evolve in 1957 into The Irish School of Landscape Painting (ISLP) and include venues, at the invitation of Bord Fáilte, in the Republic. Webb encouraged his students to paint and draw in nature to widen their approach and not just remain fixated in the curriculum of Realist paintings.
In 1961, after 7 years teaching at the Ulster College of Art he resigned to take up a full-time career as an artist. In 1973 he bought a cottage in Ballinaboy near Clifden, Co. Galway which became a permanent base for the ISLP and this has offered a multitude of inspiration for his work over the last forty-seven years.
Webb has shown his work in numerous venues since the early 1950s and has had biennial solo exhibitions at the Kenny Gallery and the James Gallery, Dublin. He has exhibited with the Cork Arts Society, the Solomon Gallery, Dublin, the Oriel Gallery, Dublin and the Metropolis International Gallery d'Art, Geneva. He has also shown at the Belgrave Gallery, London and the Wren Gallery, Oxford and has also regularly exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy.
Webb’s early influences were Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh, and the English painters Paul Nash, John Minton, and Graham Sutherland. Ivon Hitchens, whom he knew, was a strong influence as can be seen in many of his works. In September 1959 – reviewing Kenneth Webb’s exhibition at The Hendriks Gallery James White wrote in The Irish Times:
“[This is] a point of departure for the artist who is obviously moving into the realm of abstract expressionism, but he still depicts natural forms even if they are not in the general pictorial statement, rather than exact representations.
He continues the tradition of Dan O’Neill and Colin Middleton in investing his world in romantic warmth and conviction which seems curiously absent in the pictures of those Southern Irish painters upon whom the mantle of Jack Yeats has not yet fallen directly. This is an artist of brilliant promise.”
James White again: “It might perhaps be true to say that Kenneth Webb has resolved the conflict between figurative and the abstract in the subject matter of his paintings. He has not turned his back on nature, nor failed to take pleasure in the shape of trees or stones on the beach. But their shape means more to him than illustration of forms which combine to make a composition which brings rhythm into a landscape”
In 2017, Galdwell & Patterson, held a major retrospective exhibition in London to celebrate the artist’s 90th birthday. Kenny’s in Galway also hosted a major exhibition for him in 2017, and another major retrospective took place at the Royal Dublin Society in 2019. Now aged 93, Webb is as prolific as ever and his work continues to explore creative boundaries.
- Auction Details
AUCTION: Monday, 7 December 2020. Viewing: 2-7 December.
VIEWING: By appointment at our premises: 30 November to 7 December Monday-Friday 10am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm to 6pm
(a) Each lot is put up subject to any reserve price imposed by the vendor
(b) Subject to sub-clause (a) of this clause, the highest bidder for each lot shall be the purchaser thereof
(c) If any dispute arises as to the highest bidder the auctioneer shall have absolute discretion to determine the dispute and may put up again and re-sell the lot in respect of which the dispute arises.
(a) The bidding and advances shall be regulated by and at the absolute discretion of the auctioneer and he shall have the right to refuse any bid or bids. NOTE: Where an agent bids, even on behalf of a disclosed client, the auctioneer nevertheless has the right at his discretion to refuse any such bid.
(b) The purchaser of each lot shall immediately on its sale, if required by the auctioneer, give him the name and address of the purchaser and pay to the auctioneer at his discretion the whole or part of the purchase money. If the purchaser of any lot fails to comply with any such requirement the auctioneer may put up again and re-sell the lot; if upon such re-sale a lower price is obtained than was obtained on the first sale the purchaser in default on the first sale shall make good the difference in price and expenses of re-sale which shall become a debt due from him.
(c) Where an agent purchases on behalf of an undisclosed client such agent shall be personally liable for payment of the purchase money to the auctioneer and for safe delivery of the lot to the said client.
(a) The auctioneer reserves the rights to bid on behalf of clients including vendors, but shall not be liable for errors or omissions in executing instructions to bid.
(b) The auctioneer reserves the rights, before or during a sale, to group together lots belonging to the same vendor, to split up and to withdraw any lot or lots at the auctioneer's absolute discretion and without giving any reason in any case.
(c) The auctioneer acts as agent only, and therefore shall not be liable for any default of the purchaser or vendor.
(a) Each lot shall be at the purchaser's risk from the fall of the hammer and shall be paid for in full before delivery and taken away at his expense within one day of the sale. The buyer will be responsible for all removal, storage and insurance charges in respect of any lot which has not been collected within one day of the date of sale. (b) If any purchaser fails to pay in full for any lot within 21 days of the date of sale such lot may at any time thereafter at the auctioneer's discretion be put up for sale by auction again or sold privately; if upon such re-sale a lower price is obtained than was obtained on the first sale the purchaser in default on the first sale shall make good the difference in price and the expenses of re-sale which shall become debt due from him. (c) Interest at 2 per cent per month and legal costs (if any) for recovery of monies due shall be payable by the purchaser on any overdue account.
(a) Each buyer, by making a bid, acknowledges that he has satisfied himself as to the physical condition, age and catalogue description of each lot (including but not restricted to whether the lot is damaged or has been repaired or restored).
(b) All lots are sold with all faults and imperfections and errors of description and the Auctioneer and its employees, servants or agents shall not be responsible for any error of description or for the condition or authenticity of any lot, save for Clause 5 (c) below. Written or verbal condition reports may be supplied by the Auctioneer on request but these are merely statements of opinion, and any error or omission in these reports may not be taken as grounds for a cancellation of sale or refund of any part of the purchase price or the cost of any repairs to the lot or lots reported on
(c) A purchaser shall be at liberty to reject any lot if he - (i) gives the auctioneer written notice of intention to question the genuineness of the lot within seven days from the date of sale; AND (ii) proves that the lot is a deliberate forgery and (iii) returns to the auctioneer within 20 days from the date of sale the lot in the same condition as it was at the time of sale; provided that the auctioneer may, at his discretion, on receiving a request in writing from the purchaser, extend for a reasonable period the time for return of the lot to enable it to be submitted to expertisation. NOTE: The onus of proving a lot to be a deliberate forgery is on the purchaser.
(d) Where a lot has been submitted to expertisation, all costs of such expertisation shall be paid by the person who retains the certificate of expertisation and item or items to which the certificate relates.
(e) Where the purchaser of a lot discharges the onus and acts in accordance with sub-clause (b) of this clause, the auctioneer shall rescind the sale and repay to the purchaser the purchase money paid by him in respect of the lot.
(f) No lot shall be rejected if, subsequent to the sale, it has been marked by an expert committee or treated by any other process unless the auctioneer's permission to subject the lot to such treatment has first been obtained in writing.
(g) Any lot listed as a "collection, range, portfolio etc." or stated to comprise or contain a collection or range of items which are not described shall be put up for sale not subject to rejection and shall be taken by the purchaser with all (if any) faults, lack of genuineness and errors of description and numbers of items in the lot, and the purchaser shall have no right to reject the lot; except that, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this sub-clause, where before a sale a person intending to bid at the sale gives notice in writing to, and satisfies the auctioneer that any such lot contains any item or items undescribed in the sale catalogue and that person specifically describes that item or those items in that notice, then that item or those items shall, as between the auctioneer and that person, to be taken to form part of the description of the lot.
The respective rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed and interpreted by Irish law, and the buyer hereby submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish Courts.
a) The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% up to and including €3 million, and 13.5% of that part of the hammer price over €3 million. The Buyer's Premium is added to the hammer price of all lots and is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.
(b) The Auctioneer or its employees, servants or agents may, on request organise packing and shipping of lots purchased or may order on the buyer's behalf third parties to pack or ship purchases. Under no circumstances does the Auctioneer accept any liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever occasioned in the course of such service.
(c) The buyer authorises the Auctioneer to use any photographs or illustrations of any lot purchased for any or all purposes as the Auctioneer may require. The placing of a bid will be taken as full agreement to all the above conditions.
WHYTE AND SONS AUCTIONEERS LIMITED, 2018.
• Log in or register bid.whytes.ie
• Visit the online auction catalogue
• Find the lot number you are interested in.
· The current highest bid will be displayed
• The minimum bid required to beat the highest bid will also be shown.
· You can place your bid. The screen will show the new highest bid and will indicate if that bid is yours. Note: if a previous bidder has left a bid that equals yours the previous bidder will win the lot unless you outbid them. If the screen doesn’t confirm that your bid is winning you will need to bid again if you wish to buy the lot. Don’t worry -the system will not allow you to bid against yourself.
• The live auction will begin at 6pm on Monday 29 November and will be sold in lot number order by the auctioneer.
• Invoices will be issued to successful bidders on Tuesday 30 November.
NOTE: For telephone and absentee bids email to email@example.com or telephone 01 6762888 or post to Whyte’s, 38 Molesworth Street, Dublin D02 KF80
Up to €300 x€10
Up to €700 x €20
Up to €1,300 x €50
Up to €3,000 x €100
Up to €7,000 x €200
Up to €13,000 x €500
Up to €30,000 x €1,000
Up to €40,000 x €2,000
Up to €70,000 x €2,000
Up to €130,000 x €5,000
Up to €500,000 x €10,000
A FEW TIPS FOR ABSENTEE BIDDERS:
Bid the maximum price you would pay for the lot; we will try and secure the lot for you at the lowest possible price. For instance if you bid €2,000 on a lot and the highest other bid we receive is €1,200 you get it for €1,250. Most people tend to bid in round numbers, e.g. €500. It’s often a good idea to bid an odd number, e.g. €520, or €540 which will outbid an even number. Check the results the day after the sale: these are published on our website www.whytes.ie at about 10am on the day after the sale. Successful bidders are also notified of results by mail.
Buyers Premium of 20%plus VAT (24.6% in total) will be added to your winning bid amount. Your invoice will detail all the payment, collection and shipping particulars. There is no additional fee for bidding online with Whyte's
TIE BIDS: if two or more equal bids are received the lot will be sold to the first received.
WHAT IS A TIMED AUCTION?
Timed auctions do not have an auctioneer calling the bids – there’s just a bidding time frame and whoever bids highest during the time frame wins. Each lot can be bid on for a defined time period. At the end of this period, the bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price. You tell us the most you’re willing to pay – and we’ll bid intelligently for you, only bidding enough for you to meet the reserve or stay in the lead. Don’t worry, your maximum bid is not disclosed, and is held in confidence on our bidding system.
WHEN ONLINE BIDDING STARTS – FROM 10AM ON 1 OCTOBER TO 18 OCTOBER (ENDING 6pm-10pm approximately) - YOU CAN LEAVE BIDS and your bid will start at one step above the previous bid or at the start price if no other bid. You will be notified by email if you get outbid before the auction starts.
ONCE THE AUCTION BEGINS TO FINISH ON 18 OCTOBER EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS CEASE and you should follow the auction on-line to see how your bids are doing. Make sure you have logged in if you wish to bid.
WHEN THE AUCTION BEGINS TO FINISH ON 18 OCTOBER the bidding for each lot remains open for 45 seconds at a start price determined by the reserve or bids already received. Each lot will be open and remain open for bidding until its end time is reached; the end time will be extended by 60 seconds if another bid is received. At the end time, if there are no further bids and the highest bid received equals or exceeds the re serve price the lot is sold to highest bidder.