Chris Kenny


Chris Kenny was born in London and studied art history at the Courtauld Institute. He has been exhibiting since 1985 in Europe and America and is collected internationally. Chris Kenny works with humble, found materials: bits of book, bits of map, bits of wood. He transforms them into fragile pertinent worlds to scrutinise and in some cases be scrutinised by. From a distance his text assemblages are variegated, geometric bas-reliefs suspended in shallow vitrines. As one approaches, the detail becomes clear: poetic phrases instructing, interrogating or educating the viewer, arrayed in tiny terraces. There is a taxonomy of fonts, paper textures and shades, a balance of poignant fragility and absurdist wit, a tension between the flimsiness of existence and the wish to comprehend. He uses maps similarly - graphic languages jostle for superiority as they proclaim the significance of their little patch of the earth. Found images and text are combined in collections of tiny books, each a little object-poem, proposing an idea or subject for musing. He revisits old masters' content and classic modernist form: floating line drawings made from twigs re-imagine 16th century religious paintings or twist in abstract, gestural displays. The attempt to envisage heaven on earth through painting landscape is explored in rows of little houses built from discarded amateur pictures of idealised Nature, their facades incised with large letters to spell out mythical paradises: Arcadia, Elysium etc. They become little streets or queues: identities waiting patiently and dreaming.
 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016 Au milieu de nulle part, Musee Hebert, Grenoble, France. 
2014 An implicit celebration of untotalizable micro-narratives - 50 handmade books, Bookartbookshop, London.
2014 The Flowers that Did in Eden Bloom, Pitzhanger Manor, London.
2013 Chris Kenny, England & Co, London.
2011 Chris Kenny: Recent Work, England & Co, London.
2005 Chris Kenny: The Matter of Facts, England & Co, London. 
2003 Chris Kenny: part of me is floating above myself, England & Co, London. 
2001 Chris Kenny: Works from 2001, England & Co, London. 
2000 Chris Kenny: Recent Work, England & Co, London. 
1996 Aylesbury Museum, Buckinghamshire. 
1994 Brighton Arts Centre, Brighton Marina. 
1994 High Wycombe Museum, Buckinghamshire. 
1992 Splinter Gallery, Hammersmith, London. 
1991 Long and Ryle, Pimlico, London. 
1989 Birch and Conran, Soho, London. 
1985 Gallery 24, Notting Hill, London.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 hardware, Centre Studios, London
2016 Artificial Realities, Courtauld Institute, London
2015 Chemcraft, Espacio Gallery, London
2014 alpha beta carta, Parc culturel de Rentilly, Bussy-St Martin, France
2013 Telling Stories, Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks.
2013 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, RA, London
2013 Mappa Mundi 2, Hotel des Arts, Toulon, France
2013 First Cut, Manchester City Art Gallery and touring
2012 Wandering Lines: Automatic Drawing to Abstraction, England & Co, London
2010 Mappa Mundi, The Berardo Museum Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.
2010 The Art of Hip-ok-risy, The Mayor's & City of London Court, Guildhall Buildings, London.
2010 Collected Fragments, Sunderland Museum, Tyne & Wear, UK.
2009 Slash: Paper Under the Knife, Museum of Art & Design, New York, USA. 
2009 City X, and The Map is not the Territory Revisited, both at England & Co, London. 
2009 House of Words, Dr Johnson's House, London. 
2009 Cut It Out: Contemporary Paper Cut Artists, Otter Gallery, Chichester; and Southampton City Art Gallery. 
2009 Contained Thoughts, The Courtauld Institute Library Exhibition Space, London. 
2008 Persistent Obsessions, England & Co, London. 
2007 Re:formed, Chris Kenny, Georgia Russell, Jason Wallis-Johnson, England & Co, London. 
2007 Culture Bound: Courtauld Institute of Art's East Wing Collection VII, biennial exhibition displayed in the Institute's East Wing, Somerset House, London. 
2006 Literary Constructs: Chris Kenny, Liliane Lijn, Arthur Giardelli, Vito Drago, Rupert Spira, Georgia Russell, England & Co, London. 
2005 Tracing Spaces, 66 East Centre for Urban Culture in Amsterdam. 
2003 Sartorial, England & Co, London. 
2002 The Map Is Not the Territory ii, England & Co, London and James Hockey Gallery, Surrey Institute of Art & Design.
2001 The Map Is Not the Territory, England & Co, London.  
2000 Wallpaper, Old Kent Road, London.  
1999 Pagemakers, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries and touring. 
1999 Virgin VIP lounge, Heathrow Airport. 
1998 Ealing Open, Pitshanger Manor Gallery, London. 
1997 Pull up a Chair, Scunthorpe Museum, Lincs. 
1997 Wexford Artists Book Festival, Wexford, Ireland. 
1997 Reading Rooms, Catalyst Arts, Belfast. 
1995 The Box Show, England & Co, at the Henley Festival. 
1995 British Surrealism 1935-1995, England & Co, London. 
1994 Painted Leaves, Artists Books, Liberty, London. 
1994 Old Object, New Subject, Nottingham University. 
1994 Bookworks, Gallery II, Bradford University. 
1994 Words and Pictures, launched at ICA, London. 
1993 Art in Boxes, England & Co, London. 
1993 The Collage Show, England & Co, London. 
1993 Mostyn Open, Wales. 
1993 Four Seasons Tree Cycle, Music Sales Ltd, London. 
1992 Art in Boxes, England & Co. 
1992 Pacesetters 12, Peterborough Museum and touring. 
1992 London Group. 
1992 Mostyn Open, Wales. 
1991 Six British Painters, touring exhibition in Spain. 
1990 London Group (main prizewinner). 
1990 Riverside Open, London. 
1988 St Paul's Gallery, Leeds. 
1986 Camden Arts Centre, London. 
1985 Riverside Open, London. 

  • 114 Children by Chris Kenny
  • 328 Children by Chris Kenny
  • Drawing Horses is Easy by Chris Kenny
  • Eden by Chris Kenny
  • Eight Saints by Chris Kenny
  • Elsewhere by Chris Kenny
  • Good and Bad by Chris Kenny
  • Paradise by Chris Kenny
  • Pink Map Circle by Chris Kenny
  • Reincarnation by Chris Kenny
  • Religions of the World (Pie chart of global beliefs) by Chris Kenny
  • St Apollinaris by Chris Kenny
  • St Camillus de Lellis by Chris Kenny
  • St Desideratus by Chris Kenny
  • St John the Baptist by Chris Kenny
  • St Valentine by Chris Kenny
  • the advantages of Dutch Modernism by Chris Kenny
  • The Day of Judgement by Chris Kenny
  • the lavish f of frugality by Chris Kenny
  • The Meeting of Two Rivers by Chris Kenny
  • The Planting of Eden (Chapter from Genesis) by Chris Kenny
  • Three Cubist Books by Chris Kenny
  • Twenty Saints by Chris Kenny
  • two disappointments by Chris Kenny
  • Utopia by Chris Kenny