Born in Sheffield in 1912 William Kenneth Wood studied painting at Sheffield College of Arts & Crafts, 1930 – 33. Shortly after leaving art college he moved to London accompanied by his fellow art student and life long friend, the painter, Rowland Suddaby.
During this early period in London Charles Laughton, along with Sir Edward Marsh, Winston Churchill’s private secretary, encouraged and collected Kenneth Woods paintings. From 1936 he began exhibiting at Wertheim Gallery, and his 1939 exhibition was enthusiastically reviewed by Raymond Mortimer.
During the war he was stationed in the Middle East, with the Royal Army Engineers, where he was assigned to the Camouflage Unit. In Cairo, he befriended the photographer, Dicky Grierson, with whom he was later posted to Iraq, sharing a house, on the banks of the Tigris, with the painter, Edward Bawden. Following a one-man show in Baghdad, Kenneth Wood’s paintings were sent on to Cairo, for inclusion in the United Nations Exhibition.
Immediately after the war, he rejoined his wife in Paris, where they continued to live for several years. From the immediate post-war years Kenneth Wood exhibited regularly at the Redfern Gallery attracting critical acclaim and encouragement from Kenneth Clark and Eric Newton. During this period he enjoyed considerable success, exhibiting frequently and running Art History lecture courses for both the WEA (Worker’s Educational Association) and the Extra Mural Department of London University.
By the early 1960’s he had to reluctantly undertake a career working for several large commissioning clients, including ‘Dunlop’ for whom he designed the iconic flashes on their tennis racquets and golf clubs.
Kenneth Wood died in 2008 2008.
Further examples of his work can be found at www.108fineart.com