Kenneth Paul Block


You know I love fashion illustration, or if you don’t already know that, W-h-A-t? Pay attention! Just kidding. I recently went up to the MFA in Boston  and got to see some the work of Kenneth Paul Block (1924-2009). I have found Kenneth to be a bit of an unsung hero for an amazing artist whose career  spanned 50 years. He was a “house artist” (lovely thought, right?) for WWD and helped “transform the once dowdy publication” into the bible for the jet-set during the 60’s and 70’s.

He  amassed  a large collection of 2000 pieces of his work which were held in copyright by Conde Nast that was then gifted to the museum with the help of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf. When I saw the exhibit, it seems they leaked out only a few pieces at a time. (Bummer! I have a big appetite.) They were large and a lot of them created on newsprint.  Personally, I LOVE the energetic movement that his work captures. I am especially fond of his black and white work although he seemed to have used every medium available to him. Surely he had to work quickly and with a sure hand. Maybe that is what I like the best, choices that aren’t too labored over.

“Gesture to me is everything in fashion,” he said. Me too, Kenneth! kennethblock