Bakker, Kenneth – (1926 – 1988)

Kenneth Bakker was born in Cape Town in 1926. He lived in or near Cape Town all of his life as he was
restricted to wide movement by continuous need for regular medical attention. In 1949 he studied under
George de Leon , and from 1950 – 1952, under Erik Laubscher at the Contemporary School of Art, in Cape
He married the artist Bernadine Biden, with which he often had exhibitions since 1955. He lived in
Simonstown, overlooking the Indian ocean. The circumstances of Bakker’s life, his limitations on activity and
the isolated setting of his home, were all influential factors, in the introspective nature of his work. Bakker’s
work was primarily stimulated by the coastline and the sea. Seascapes occupied Bakker from early in his
career, but growing more stylized and abstract as he proceeded. He gradually moved from recognizable
visual images into abstract forms and ultimately his work became a totally non-figurative translation of his
The forms in Kenneth Bakker’s compositions of the 60’s and 70’s remained essentially organic, from this he
created the Geoniche and Geo structures. The phase of relief construction continued in the late 70’s where
he was drawn to the flexibility of paint.

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