GEORGE DANNATT, Study for Little Trinity No 1, 1977
Little Trinity is one of the finest small paintings Waterhouse & Dodd have handled by George Dannatt, and forms part of a small suite of geometric abstractions by the artist that we currently have on display at our London gallery. By the date of this painting, George’s activities both as an artist and as a patron to other like-minded artists, was in full flow. The year before he was part of a three man show (with John Wells and Alexander Mackenzie) at the Orion Gallery.
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. Georges’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, George met the artist Adrian Heath in his studio in Soho, London. The early work of Heath can be felt in Georges’s own work, as can figures such as Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo.
Paying his first visit to Cornwall in 1963, George quickly became inextricable from the Cornish painters over the coming decades, both in his role as fellow artist and generous patron. George 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 George’s work.
Waterhouse & Dodd represent the George Dannatt Trust. We mounted a survey exhibition titled Shared History in 2018 featuring George’s work alongside John Wells and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, and a solo exhibition in 2019. A major exhibition dedicated to George’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.
Study for Little Trinity No 1, 1977
Oil on hardboard
18 x 16 cm
Signed, titled & dated on reverse
Direct from the artist’s estate