George Dannatt’s life reads as a palimpsest of pursuits, answering to three successful careers as surveyor, music critic and artist. Born in Blackheath in 1915, he would not come to the visual arts until the mid-1950s. Dannatt’s early training and career was as a chartered surveyor; entering into his family business but pursuing more creative passions, namely music composition and criticism, on the side. In 1955, Dannatt met the artist Adrian Heath in his studio in Soho, London. Heath was working with a group of artists – including Kenneth and Mary Martin, Robert Adams and Victor Pasmore – who were advancing the ideals of the constructivists, brought to Britain by the Russian sculptor Naum Gabo.
Paying his first visit to Cornwall in 1963, Dannatt quickly became inextricable from the Cornish painters over the coming decades, both in his role as fellow artist and generous patron. Dannatt rejected developments in Pop and large-scale painterly abstraction, favouring intimate geometrical compositions and aligning himself with the constructivist inheritance of both London and the south coast. His initial showing was at the Penwith Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall, in 1970. In 1974 he exhibited at the Newlyn Art Gallery in Penzance, where a year later he became a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists. The 1980s saw the Dannatts leave London to live near Shaftesbury, Dorset; the importance of landscape and locality succeeding as an enduring trait in Dannatt’s work.
Waterhouse & Dodd are pleased to announce the representation of the George Dannatt Trust. A major exhibition dedicated to Dannatt’s work and his collection was held at the Pallant House Gallery between 13th June – 20th September 2015. His work is in many major public collections, including Pallant House, Southampton City Art Gallery and the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.