Prendergast was one of the most interesting and accomplished landscape painters of our time working in the UK. His paintings celebrate the rugged and beautiful views of Wales, with its quarries and foundries or the East coast of Ireland land of his father’s ancestors. His work is represented in numerous public galleries including the Tate, British Museum, Arts Council of Great Britain, Museum of Modern Art, Wales and the National Museum of Wales.
Son of a miner in South Wales, Prendergast’s progress is remarkable: his talent was spotted by an inspiring art teacher at his local secondary school; he gained a scholarship to do a foundation course at Cardiff College of art where, once again, he was recognised for his abilities and encouraged to apply to the Slade in London!
Competition was fierce for places in the 1960s, and it was a great achievement to get in. London and the Slade formed him as an artist. After his three years at the Slade, however, he decided to settle in North Wales for its beautiful landscape. Crashing waterfalls, dangerous crags, dramatic weather – these excited him then, as now. Prendergast paints outdoors, directly from the motif so can faithfully record the ever changing moods of the sky – another very important component of his work.
His style is expressionistic in the sense of European tradition, with a strong palette and broad and deep gestural brushwork which, over four decades, has grown steadily less literal though never devoid of its point of reference. …his work has a special intensity because it unites the outer world with the inner, and is faithful to both. …As a picture progresses, this entity develops an increasingly rich life of its own. (Richard Morphet – Introduction to Prendergast’s catalogue 2001)