John Berger, The Guardian
'Peter Kennard's work is haunting. Eschewing words, it insists upon not being forgotten. He is a master of the medium of photomontage. His images are impossible to convey with words because of their unmistakable visual texture, suggesting a strange amalgam of X-ray, satellite image and slag. The future - which for so long was a mine of gory rhetoric for those holding power - today depends upon those who insist upon looking beyond their lifetime. And to do this we have to scrutinise, like Peter Kennard, our nightmares and suppressed hopes. His art cannot be ignore.’
‘I take my hat off to you Sir’
John Pilger, The Guardian
'In its form and power, Peter Kennard's art ranks among the most important of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. It is important because it breaks the consensual silence surrounding the most urgent issues of the day. His pictures brilliantly evoke the faces that cry out from the silent war.'
Richard Slocombe, Imperial War Museum,
‘With a career spanning almost 50 years, Peter Kennard is without doubt Britain’s most important political artist and its leading practitioner of photomontage. His adoption of the medium in the late 1960s restored an association with radical politics, and drew inspiration from the anti-Nazi montages of John Heartfield in the 1930s. Many of Kennard’s images are now themselves icons of the medium, defining the tenor of protest in recent times and informing the visual culture of conflict and crisis in modern history.’
‘Shelley once wrote “We must imagine what we know”. The facts about nuclear war are now more readily available thanks to all the work of writers and researchers in the peace movement. But even these fall short of the full human truth which is not only about that terrible possible future, it is also about the hypocrisy and the evasion in the discourse of our own times – the great cover-up which is hiding this from the truth of our imagination now. It is only when a gifted artist such as Peter Kennard exposes this to full view that we are able to imagine what we know.’
‘Peter Kennard’s work is a harrowing x-ray of the shadow side of the world that perfectly captures the brutal asymmetries of our age: heavy weaponry trained on broken people, all-seeing technologies and disappearing identities, perpetually exhaling Industry and an asphyxiating planet.’
‘This is what I thought when I saw your work: It is as if we have learnt nothing. They wrap themselves up in words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ and drape themselves in our flags with no concept of where these things have come from and what they really mean (hijacked for their own short- term political gain). History is endlessly doomed to repeat itself as the dead are forgotten and the past deteriorates beyond all recognition. We have forgotten how we got here’.
Laura Cumming, The Observer
‘Few artists have done so much with the unique virtue of montage… art cannot change the world but while Kennard is still working, there is at least hope’.
‘Peter Kennard is a revolutionary artist because he shows us what is really there, using with ease and force any medium necessary for his message’.
‘Kennard sees the skull beneath the skin all right: an area dominated by greed, indifference, ruthlessness, naked force against the powerless; the Holy Grail of the Big Buck’.
‘Peter Kennard has been producing his politically radical photomontages for 50 years.
We need people who carry on fighting the good fight. People who keep their focus despite the changing cultural and political landscape. The message is consistent – themessage is clear – the message is true. The message is uncompromising, brutal and hard-hitting – but also very beautiful, it’s beautiful because it wants to keep us alive. It’s a jolt of electricity. A shot in the arm. A kick up the backside. You know what? It’s a wake-up call’.
‘The best exponent of the art of photomontage in Britain today’.
Waldemar Januszczak, The Guardian
‘Kennard is a no-nonsense political artist who proves again and again that the frightening image is just as mighty as the sword’.
‘Kennard is under no illusion about what modern war means and he uses his trenchant skill as a political artist to drive its reality home… the finest photomontage artist in Britain today’.
John Roberts, Art in America
‘Kennard is one of the very few artists – the only one, it might be said – who has had a direct effect on recent British politics. His photomontages are everywhere’.
‘Peter Kennard is a very unofficial war artist, his unique art on the subject of war is striking, creative and thought-provoking’.
‘Inspiring. Thank you. Kylie X’.