Roger Kemp



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I take all my work down to one entity, one unit that becomes equal to what one octave is in music. What it is possible for a composer to get out of an octave, I can get out of these units, these symbols of mine. I use the principal of the fugue. Bach’s music is a close parallel, in that he can get his symbols down to such mechanical perfection and at the same time maximum emotion comes out. The same principal runs through all the arts.
- Roger Kemp, Australian, 1982
Universal in its ambitions, yet individual in its resolution, the art of Roger Kemp was integral to his effort to make sense of the world, the outward sign of a solitary quest for enlightenment. It could appear quirky and obsessively idiosyncratic, but the nature of the painters experience did not preclude the graceful, the lucid, the uncannily profound. There are moments of poignancy in his oeuvre, moments of blunt greatness, of depth of feeling.
- Christopher Heathcote
Kemp embodied to successive generations the very idea of what it was to be an artist. It was a calling, not a career.
- Patrick McCaughey


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