DEAN KELLY – City Studies | The Kenny Gallery, 17 August – 7 September, 2019.
Galway artist Dean Kelly’s most recent works, City Studies record the built heritage of his native
city and will be hanging at the Kenny Gallery through Ireland’s National Heritage Week 2019, and
Former Macnas designer and current exhibition organiser with Kennys, who Deirdre Falvey has
described as ‘Gamekeeper turned Poacher’, Kelly once more steps from behind the curtain in presenting
his own latest work, the efforts of a busy summer speeding inexorably towards National Heritage Week,
in this small but he hopes perfectly formed collection.
Kelly’s usual layered symbolic style gives way to unabashed painterly celebration of Galway’s streets, its
iconic landmarks and most especially, its people. The focal point of each loose but representational
painting is the city’s inhabitants going about their daily lives, working, playing, walking on Quay Street,
shopping, swimming at Blackrock or collecting their dole at the GPO.
The artist often touches on the representational origins of his work as an aspect of his composition,
where details or backgrounds are painted in a traditional manner. In City Studies Kelly has thought it
most appropriate to flesh out what might be detail studies as wholly realised works. His normal graphic
interplay is restrained here, and City Studies as a project benefits from this clarity of approach. The
resulting paintings are also attractive and most approachable, apt for work primarily concerned with
people, and not a given in contemporary art.
Dean Kelly’s paintings show a contemporary approach to traditional materials and lean increasingly towards
the expressive. Colour, texture, drawing and various forms of mark-making are layered using various
His photography is a constant project of recording his locality and forms an ongoing resource for his
paintings. Indeed, the paintings of City Studies are augmented with a number of Kelly’s photographs –
finished works in their own right here, they may make it to canvas in the future.
Dean Kelly’s City Studies will be officially opened by fellow Galway artist, the renowned and critically
acclaimed Jennifer Cunningham, at 2.30pm on Saturday 17th August at the Kenny Gallery, Liosbán,
Tuam Road, Galway.
The exhibition will run for three weeks, Monday – Saturday, 9.00 – 17.00, admission is free, all are
welcome and the artworks are available for sale.
[Disclaimer: Dean is a good friend of mine.]
Dean Kelly Exhibition 2019.