The painter Alexander Mackenzie, who died aged 79 in 2002, was a powerful and distinctive member of the post-war generation of modernists at St Ives when the art colony was a hotbed of new talent. He arrived in his 20s and began exhibiting in the Penwith Society in company with important and progressive artists, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Bryan Wynter, Patrick Heron and John Wells.
Through the 1950s and early 60s the likes of William Scott, Alan Davie and Roger Hilton were regularly present, and even Americans paid homage, notably Mark Rothko and Clement Greenberg. For a brief moment in British artistic development, the periphery became the centre within which Mackenzie played an important role.
From 1964 to 1984 Mackenzie was head of fine art at Plymouth Art College, where he was valued by students as a quietly committed teacher. On retiring, he moved back to west Cornwall to continue painting. His later works were uncompromising: the drawing linear and tough, the limited palettes dominated by bone whites, cool greens and browns, and the textures scarred and distressed.
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