died after a short illness on 17 November 2009, aged 94.
The three professions which George Dannatt pursued throughout a long life
are found to be curiously interrelated when he was asked about his work
as an artist. He took the final examination of The Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors in 1940 and was elected a Fellow (FRICS) in 1957.
From age fifteen (1930) he became closely involved in music studies which
have continued throughout the years.
from the army in 1944 he was shortly afterwards working as a music critic
in the reviving musical scene and became a critic on that great liberal
London daily paper, the News Chronicle, for some twelve years, and also
wrote for other periodicals. He was elected a member of the Critics' Circle,
Music Section, in 1948 and is now an Honorary Member. When the News Chronicle
job ceased he took seriously to painting, greatly encouraged by John Wells
and, in sculptural forms, by Denis Mitchell. Just as they and other artists
of the post war Penwith 'School' (St. Ives) had been influenced by Gabo,
Nicholson, Hepworth, and others of their genre so, via them, Dannatt himself
was influenced. Indeed, his three professions all involved close observation
- that is observation, not just 'looking' - such concentration on detail
undoubtedly arose through photography and model making from his early
How all such varied experience finally concentrates upon the type of work
produced was expressed concisely by Ben Nicholson when he wrote "Abstract
art doesn't arise 'out of the blue' and has a vitality only when it grows
out of the painter's personal experience; it must start from something,
and this is what it starts from."