23 Sep 2017 — 06 Jan 2018
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange
NEWLYN ART GALLERY 23 SEP – 6 JAN 2018
THE EXCHANGE 7 OCT – 6 JAN 2018
A solo exhibition celebrating the work of the painter Robyn Denny presented across both our venues.
Robyn Denny (1930-2014) was one of an internationally acclaimed group who transformed British art in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, leading it into the international mainstream. His large-scale, resolutely urban abstract paintings captured the cool, modernising mood of the time yet have a sombre and enigmatic presence that makes them seem paradoxically timeless.
Graduating from RCA in 1957, within a decade he was enjoying considerable international success alongside his contemporaries Howard Hodgkin, Bridget Riley, Peter Blake and David Hockney. In 1966, he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale with Anthony Caro, Bernard Cohen, Harold Cohen and Richard Smith and at the time of his 1973 Tate retrospective he was the youngest artist to be so honoured. This exhibition is a celebration of the work of an artist key to British abstraction, who kept his eye firmly on America and his London contemporaries.
This exhibition offers an in-depth understanding of the evolution of his work over three decades and an exploration of the importance and contemporary relevance of his work. It includes important works such as Line Up 2 1962, included in the 1963 exhibition ‘British Painting in the Sixties’ at Tate and Whitechapel Gallery and exhibited at Documenta 3, Kassel, Germany in 1964; the epic work Sweet Nature 4 1976/77 and, importantly, rarely-seen later works such as Coca Tokyo 1982/88 and Sweet O’Zeeta 1985/6, which he painted following his move to Los Angeles in 1981.
We commissioned writer and art critic Martin Holman to write an essay on Robyn Denny and his painting, which has been published in an illustrated leaflet. You can pick up a copy from either venue.