Michael Kenny RA was born in Liverpool in 1941. He studied at Liverpool College of Art (1959-61) and the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1961-64). Michael Kenny was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1976 and Royal Academician in 1986. He died in December 1999.
Michael Kenny exhibited internationally over the course of his career. A selection of solo exhibitions include: His first one-man show at Oxford's Bear Lane Gallery (1964); Annely Juda (1978). In 1964, he won Littlewoods Sculptural Design Competition and received major awards from the Arts Council in 1975, 1977 and 1980. His work is in collections all over the world including; the British Museum, the RA, The Tate Gallery, the V&A, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the British Council, Leeds City Art Gallery, Bath's Quest Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.
Drawing and sculpture are seemingly indivisible in Michael Kenny's work. He celebrates the physical qualities of line, whether drawn on smooth or textured paper or across a piece of stone, in graphite or coloured pigment drawing for Kenny 'is a means of understanding, of searching for order out of chaos through images.' His work is also concerned with geometry, symmetry and asymmetry and stones with differing qualities are sometimes deliberately brought together in one piece to create conflict and juxtaposition. The grainy dark greens and browns of Hornton stone contrasting with the cool, smooth texture of Portland stone or the warmer hue of Bath stone. In his later work Kenny introduced blue-grey Kilkenny marble and white Carrara marbles into his compositions, adding to the range of colour and surface quality in his sculpture. Strong diagonals and verticals in both solid form and line pull our attention towards notions of gravity which are vital in his work.