Kendal Hanna’s Retrospective Opens

By in News on July 16, 2011

Kendal Hanna

The Official Opening Reception of the Retrospective Exhibition “Kendal Hanna – Happy Birthday to Me” was held on Friday, July 15, 2011 at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas on West Hill Street. The exhibition will be on display until the end of 2011.

Kendal Hanna celebrated his 75th birthday on June 25th and this exhibition has been timed to coincide with that landmark, featuring key works from his almost sixty-year career.

To Hanna, the experience is somewhat surreal, but brings him great joy, for being underappreciated for so long led him to believe his work would never be presented in this way, let alone that his story, forgotten even by his own troubled mind, would never be told.  That in itself is the great testament to his place in Bahamian art history.  But for Hanna personally, it also brings great closure.

Kendal’s speech at the opening reception (700KB PDF)

“I do have favorite pieces but it’s hard to choose,” he says, looking back on his artistic career as reflected in the show.  “But what I would call favorite are those that I choose as major works to stand to cast new light in the era of my progression, to bring that together to show this collection.  It’s a life I lived to see.  That’s what so exciting right now.”

“Art is my life, I have no other life to live,” said 75 -year-old Kendal Hanna at the opening of his art exhibit in the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.

Speaking at the opening on Friday education minister Desmond Bannister noted that Hanna is a a true scholar of the arts whose works are a treasure to behold.

In The News…(690KB PDF)

Fellow artists John Cox and Heino Schmid also noted the achievements of the artist. Mr Cox said that Hanna’s ability to focus such a degree of passion in abstract painting in a time when it was difficult enough to be just be a painter is a testament to him.

Mr Schmid added that Hanna “attacks every painting not like its his last, but his first. He has a slow moving way of painting that is the language of his practice.”

Kendal Hanna – Happy Birthday to Me Retrospective Exhibition runs at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas until Monday, January 2, 2012.