Alexander MACKENZIE

1923—2002

Called in one obituary an 'austere painter of the modern St Ives School' (Davies) in description of his careful, perfected abstractions of landscape art. A charming and quiet man, both his teaching and his art stood as a beacon of high intellectual quality and counterbalance to the negative reaction to the political ferments often found in artistic circles.

Born in Liverpool, McKenzie attended Liverpool College of Art between 1946-1950, after completion of Army service. His first move into Cornwall was to St Ives in 1951, at an especially contentious and competitive time. He exhibited his work in a Solo show at Robin NANCE's shop on the main street.

In 1953 he moved on to Newlyn and Penzance, where he felt more at home, and where he taught at the Art School until 1964, whilst still exhibiting successfully in St Ives, Newlyn, London, New York and elsewhere.

Thereon for twenty years, he was the Head of the Department of Fine Art at Plymouth College of Art and Design, in residence there with his wife, Coralie CROCKETT (who died in 1973), and three daughters.  In retirement from his teaching post at Plymouth, Alex returned to West Cornwall, living and working in his studio-home on Morrab Road, Penzance near the Penlee House Museum.

His sculptural and sensuous style in architectural and geometric formats enhanced the landscapes and sky-lines he loved and studied. Both his teaching and his clear, calm style influenced many artists who might have more public recognition. His reputation continues to grow.