Roger Kemp was born at Bendigo, Victoria. He studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne 1930-35 and RMIT. Kemp first made prints in 1970 while in London with the encouragement of Arthur Boyd. The 12 small drypoints that were the result of these experiments were printed by Boyd's printer, John Hull. Upon his return to Melbourne in 1972, Kemp made prints at a workshop newly established by George Baldessin and Tate Adams in the Winfield Building. John Dent, one of the printers in the new venture, re-printed some of Kemp's London drypoints, and with the encouragement of Baldessin, Kemp began to make larger and more ambitious plates. He preferred his images to be printed with a lot of ink and plate tone; all were printed with black ink on white paper.
This is Kemp's biggest and most ambitious etching, although for many years it was unknown. It was editioned, but not signed or dated when made, and stored until it was exhibited in 1989. It was printed at Prahran Technical College, because its large size required a larger press than that available at the Winfield Building studio.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1998
circa 1973-circa 1974
etching on four magnesium plates, black ink printed on two sheets of Torinoko paper
85.8 x 60.5 cm plate mark u.l.; 86.0 x 60.5 cm plate mark u.r.; 85.8 x 60.6 cm plate mark l.l.; 85.5 x 60.7 cm plate mark l.r.; 95.3 x 140.5 cm top sheet; 96.6 x 140 5 cm bottom sheet; 191.1 x 140.5 cm overall; 204.0 x 158.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Merle Kemp 1993
© Estate of Roger Kemp
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Roger Kemp etchings (1991), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jan 1991–07 Apr 1991
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Australian abstraction 1965-1985: from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Dec 2006–25 Jan 2007
Under the Stars, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Mar 2020–2021
Referenced in 4 publications
Sasha Grishin, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Roger Kemp / Godfrey Miller', pg. 104-115, Sydney, 2002, 144.
Bruce James, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Milking works for a moment in the sun', pg. 13, Sydney, 03 Apr 2002, 13. Review of 'Parallel Visions' exhibition
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 110 (illus.). cat.no. 91
Hendrik Kolenberg, Roger Kemp: the complete etchings, Sydney, 1991, 53, 54 (illus.). cat.no. 34