Guy Denning

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Guy Denning
Born 1965 (1965)
Nationality English
Known for Painting
Movement Neomodern, Urban art

Guy Denning (born 1965) is a self taught[1] English contemporary artist and painter based in France. He is the founder of the Neomodern group and part of the urban art scene in Bristol.[2]


Dreyfus by Guy Denning

Guy Denning says he had been interested in art since he was a small child and is a self-taught painter. He applied to study at several art colleges during the 1980s but was refused entry.[3]

His paintings have been shown in many solo and mixed exhibitions. Notable solo shows include 'Purgatorio' at Brooklynite, New York; 'Inferno' at MAGI'900, Bologna and 'Behemoth' at St Martin in the Fields, London.[4] His work is held in several important public collections, including the Politics Department of Bristol University, the Political Science Department at Galway University and the MAGI'900 Museum of Contemporary Art, Bologna.[5]

Denning's early work included an interest in the work of Franz Kline and was characterised by powerful, expressive brushstrokes in mainly abstract paintings. More recently he has combined earlier influences with an increasingly figurative style of painting. The human figure features strongly in his latest work and he uses this subject matter to convey powerful emotions, often with political overtones. The Icarus series of works is an example of this approach. Structurally his work is very dynamic showing a concern for strong draughtsmanship with a spontaneous application of colour.[6] He does not work to set motifs, but makes paintings and drawings from observation and photographic reference.[2]

Denning uses not only powerful brush strokes to express his emotions deeply but also scratches the paint to show the audience the intensity of the emotions he is trying to portray with his artwork. He also sometimes uses stencils and collaged text.

He has stated that his work has been significantly informed by the subject of war "When I was about 11 or 12 I came to France with my parents and they took me to the war cemetery at Verdun. It was the most significant thing that ever happened to me." [3]

From 1992, he has exhibited across Britain.[2] Since 2007 he has exhibited also in the United States of America, Germany, Italy and France.

In 1997, he founded the neomodern group. His work appeared in the Triumph of Stuckism exhibition at Liverpool John Moores University as part of the 2006 Liverpool Biennial.

In 2007, he joined Red Propeller Gallery. In February 2008, he sold two works in Bonhams Urban Art auction[2] in New Bond Street with one painting achieving £9,600.[7]

Also in 2007 there was a studio fire at his new home in France in which Denning lost 20 years of accumulated work. [8]

Denning held a trio of international exhibitions in 2011/12 showcasing paintings interpreting Dante's Divine Comedy. The paintings examined Britain's failings and political problems.[9]

In 2013 he was one of the artists invited to participate in the Tour Paris 13 urban art project. [10]

Notable solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2014 'The Party Is Over' Gallery Brugier-Rigail, Paris, France
  • 2013 '5 ans en France' Raison d'Art, Lille, France
  • 2012 'Dante's Paradiso' Signal Gallery, London, UK [9]
  • 2011 'Dante's Purgatorio' Brooklynite Gallery, Manhattan, New York, US
  • 2011 'Dante's Inferno' MAGI'900, Bologna, Italy
  • 2010 'Behemoth' Red Propeller Gallery/The Crypt Gallery, St Martin in the Fields, London, UK [3]
  • 2009 'Celebrity Will Eat Itself' Carmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, US
  • 2008 'Ad Nausea' Signal Gallery, London, UK
  • 2008 'Pharmaceutical Bestiary', Red Propeller Gallery/Vyner Street Gallery, London, UK
  • 2008 'Same Shit, Different Day', Red Propeller Gallery/East West Gallery, Notting Hill, London, UK
  • 2007 '5/11' Red Propeller Gallery, Kingsbridge, UK
  • 2005 'twelve new paintings', Tobacco Factory, Bristol, UK
  • 2003 'Pride in the House', Lauderdale House, Highgate, London, UK
  • 2002 'Concrete Arts', Bristol, UK
  • 2001 'the neo-modern explanation', the cube cinema, Bristol, UK
Vanity Fair by Guy Denning

Work in public collections[edit]

  • Politics Department, Bristol University
  • UK Pituitary Foundation
  • Bath Royal United Hospital NHS Trust
  • Department of Political Science, University of Ireland Galway

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Metcalfe, Anna. "Off the streets", Financial Times, 26 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Matilda Battersby (5 August 2010). "Guy Denning: The Behemoth in the crypt". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  4. ^ . Accessed on 19 March 2014.
  5. ^ . Accessed on 19 March 2014.
  6. ^ Barber
  7. ^ "Sale 16259 - Urban Art, 5 Feb 2008", Bonhams. Accessed on 17 June 2009.
  8. ^ . Accessed on 20 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b Jamie Lewis (3 October 2012). "Guy Denning returns to London with final installment of Dante trilogy". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  10. ^ . Accessed on 14 March 2014.

External links[edit]