Biography

Denis Kelly is an Irish artist who makes abstract paintings characterised by hard edge colour motifs, predominantly painted flat on wooden surfaces. He holds an MFA in painting from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and a BA Honours Degree from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dún Laoghaire. Previously, he worked for a number of years as a graphic designer in Dublin taking up painting in 2007. He has been awarded Kildare County Council Arts Act Grant in 2013, 2014, 2017–2021 and the KCC Emerging Visual Artist Bursary Award 2015. His paintings are part of the Office of Public Works and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County collections and private collections in Ireland, UK, Germany and USA. He is a current member of Visual Arts Ireland. His studio is located just outside Dublin in County Kildare.

Artist Statement

My work is a playful, idiosyncratic response to the built environment and employs a strict reductive language that explores light, form and space. Ultimately, the intention is to allude rather than describe allowing curious forms to materialise and manifest within the painting, where tension is created by opposing and contradictory elements – figure/ground, control/chance, construction/destruction, revelation/concealment.

2021
‘Look, then Look Again”
RHA Ashford Gallery
Ely Place, Dublin

2018
‘A Sense of Order. A Sense of Disorder’
Galleria Weber, Turin, Italy

2017
‘Impeccable Defect’
Pallas Projects/Studios
The Coombe, Dublin

2016
‘Structure/Void’
McKenna Gallery
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge,
Co. Kildare, Ireland

2016
‘Edge’
Municipal Gallery, dlr LexIcon,
Haigh Terrace, Moran Park,
Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

2021
‘Ark Life’ Auction (Online)
Pallas Projects/Studios
The Coombe, Dublin 8, Ireland

2020
190th RHA Annual Exhibition
Ely Place, Dublin

2019
189th RHA Annual Exhibition
Ely Place, Dublin

2018
188th RHA Annual Exhibition
Ely Place, Dublin

2018
‘Anonymous Drawings’
Galerie im Kornerpark, Berlin

2017
peripheriesOPEN Gorey School of Art,
Gorey, Co. Wexford

2016
Pallas Projects/Studios
20 Year Anniversary Benefit Auction
City Assembly House, Dublin

2015
‘Memory and Place’
Describing Architecture
Powerscourt TC, South William Street,
Dublin 2

2015
Éigse Open Submission Exhibition
Visual, Carlow

2015
185th RHA Annual Exhibition
Ely Place, Dublin

2014
Winter Open Exhibition, RUA RED
South Dublin Arts Centre

2014
RUA 133 Annual Exhibition
Ulster Museum Belfast

2014
NCAD MFA Graduate Exhibition
Thomas Street, Dublin 8

2014
‘Motley’
MFA Year Two Exhibition
Satellite Studios, Dublin 7

2013
Winter Open Exhibition, RUA RED
South Dublin Arts Centre

2013
Stranger Stranger
The Complex, Dublin

2013
Artists on Architecture
Birr Theatre and Arts Centre

2013
Top Ten Undergraduate Awards
Block T, Dublin

2012-2014
MFA, Painting,
National College of Art and Design

2010–2012
BA (Honours)
Visual Art Practice (H1)
IADT Dún Laoghaire

2009–2010
Diploma in Fine Art and Design (H1)
National College of Art and Design

2007–2009
Certificate in Visual Art Practice (H1)
National College of Art and Design

1977–1979
National Certificate in Art & Design,
Athlone Institute of Technology

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2021

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2019

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2018

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2017

Kildare County Council Emerging Visual artist Bursary Award 2015

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2014

Kildare County Council Acts Grant 2013