DANNATT, George (1915 – 2009)

George Dannatt : Double Monoprint with Image, 2003


George Dannatt was an outstanding and inspirational figure in the story of the later St Ives School. He represented a rare breed of cultural polymath: musician, critic, practising artist, connoisseur and collector of modern art. He also belonged to a small group of patron collectors who practised what they preached. Dannatt produced a solid oeuvre of abstract painting inspired by, and in concert with, the St Ives Modernists whose work he so admired. Like London-based collectors John and Anne Christopherson and Ken Powell, George and Ann Dannatt systematically collected art one can summarise as three-quarters geometric and abstract, but with an oblique sensuality and associative landscape naturalism. Over many years Dannatt collected the work of, among others, John Wells, Terry Frost, Denis Mitchell, Alexander Mackenzie, Patrick Heron and Roy Conn. Many choice items from this second wave of Cornish Modernism have been donated to Pallant House in Chichester and a smaller group of works to Southampton Art Gallery, together with good examples of Dannatt’s own work.