Jeffrey Dennis


Friday 6th December 2013 at 1.00pm
Scott Sutherland building Lecture Theatre SB42

…he seems to be painting a contemporary netherworld, the catacombs of modern urban life, a place connected to everywhere else by underground conduits. If he keeps on digging he might well come up in your living room. Watch out.
Adrian Searle Time Out

Jeffrey Dennis was born in Colchester, England, studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and lives in London. His past paintings have embedded glimpses of contemporary urban life within landscapes of processed peas,rotting fruit or Victorian wallpaper designs and, more recently, the ‘bubblescape’ an organic matrix which seems to offer the potential for continual mutation and evolution.

He recently wrote about his paintings: My work is rooted in daily experience: how people move around, inhabit spaces and make sense of their daily routines. Of particular relevance to this and to the structure of my paintings are the ideas of proximity,contiguity and adjacency: these terms express the abrupt collisions of incident and thought, the habits nurtured by travellers and inhabitants to protect personal space and the interrupted narratives of encounters and conversations. The paintings themselves provide a fluid, mutable net to hold narrative fragments and connective elements in place; a landscape corresponding to the fragmentary mental maps which people construct in order to give their existence some measure of meaning.

His most recent solo exhibition was at Art Space Gallery, London, in 2008. A regular exhibitor in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, his work was also selected for EASTinternational 2007 at Norwich and has also appeared three times in the John Moores biennial exhibition of contemporary painting, Liverpool, in the Jerwood Drawing Prize Exhibition in 2010 and 2012, and featured in the British Art Show 3, 1990. He has been exhibiting since 1979, including regular shows at Salvatore Ala in Milan and New York, and a solo show in London at Whitechapel Gallery in 1986.

His paintings were included in New Voices, an exhibition of contemporary British art that toured worldwide 1991-7. Although his paintings engage directly with contemporary life, they also maintain a dialogue with art of the past. His paintings were included in Secret Victorians, a exhibition touring UK and USA 1998 -2001, which examined how Victorian ideas have influenced artists working today, and also Drawing from Turner, at Tate Britain in 2007. His paintings are in the collections of the Arts Council of England, the British Council, the British Standards Institution, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, Leeds Art Gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, the Tate, Unilever plc as well as private collections in UK, Europe, USA and Asia.

see Jeffrey’s website for more


About callumkellie

I am an artist living and working in Aberdeen, I ride bikes and like to write about it sometimes.

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