Michael Canney, 1923-1999
Painter, relief maker, writer, broadcaster and teacher, Canney was born in Falmouth, where he was taken to art shows from an early age. In the early 1940s he studied at Redruth and Penzance Schools of Art and St Ives School of Painting, under Leonard Fuller. After army service he studied at Goldsmiths College of Art, 1947-51, and then undertook postgraduate study at Patrick Allan-Fraser School of Art, Hospitalfield, Arbroath. In 1956 he was appointed curator of Newlyn Orion Gallery, and began broadcasting on radio and television. In 1964-65 Canney taught at Plymouth College of Art and then in 1965-66 was appointed visiting gallery director and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1966 to 1983 he was on the staff of the West of England College of Art. In 1984 he moved to a village near Siena, Italy and continued to paint. In 1985 he scripted an award-winning documentary film for television on painting in Newlyn. He exhibited regularly at group exhibitions in Britain and abroad. His later one-man shows included Newlyn Art Gallery, 1983; Prescote Art and Design, Edinburgh, 1984; and Belgrave Gallery from 1990. Plymouth City Art Gallery and several other public collections hold his work.
Scott, Nicholson, Vaughan, Hilton and Lanyon were all friends of his. Canney was unusual amongst his contemporaries in so far as he was an indigenous Cornishman.
Selected Literature: Roger Hilton, Night Letters and Selected Drawings (introduction), 1980. Irving Grosse, Michael Canney 1923-1999, Belgrave Gallery, October 1990. Martin Du Louvre, Michael Canney 1923-1999: The Late Years, 1973-1993.