Roger Kemp’s interests were not in the overriding traditions of figurative and landscape art, nor the prevailing trends in non-objective art of his time, but rather something much deeper and more metaphysical.
After completing three years of study at the NGV’s School of Painting in 1935, Roger Kemp remained aloof from the art world for a decade, filled with bitter criticism of the conservative creative circles to the new concepts of abstract and experimental art.
His artworks were abstract and symbolic. Having a lifelong relationship with music, Kemp’s artworks were constantly referenced in terms of movement and rhythm. After joining George Baldessin in his print workshop in Melbourne, by 1976 Roger Kemp had produced over 80 etchings, all being of the structural complexity of his finest drawings. Many of these etchings have been featured within Leonard Joel’s Prints & Multiples auctions over the years.
Roger Kemp is now recognized as one of Australia’s greatest innovators in the field of abstract art.
The National Gallery of Victoria have curated a show along with the estate of the artist, Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist on view until 15th of March 2020.