Kenneth Mahood (1930 - 2020)

Street Scene (c.1958)

30cm x 40cm

Private collection

Kenneth Mahood was born in Belfast in 1930 where he was raised in a deeply religious community. After completing a lithography apprenticeship in 1949 he turned to painting, winning a Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) travel scholarship to Paris. His first cartoon was accepted by Punch magazine when he was eighteen, becoming a regular contributor and eventually Assistant Art Editor from 1960 to 1965.

Throughout the 1950s he was a regular exhibitor at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art as well as the Royal Ulster Academy and the Victor Waddington Gallery in Dublin, where he had his first one man exhibition in 1955. From 1960 he worked primarily as a cartoonist and illustrator for Punch, the Times and the New Yorker, retiring from the Daily Mail in 2009.

This highly stylised Belfast street scene was in the collection of Zoltan and Anny Lewinter Frankl. The subject recalls the more traditional urban images of Ulster painters such as William Conor, but here it is treated in a dynamic and witty modernist style. Despite his early recognition, Mahood’s early works are rare as he became a successful cartoonist.