Press Release
A Crisis Of Connections - New Paintings
4 July - 2 August 2003
View the Exhibition
Detail from Death of A ComicJeffrey Dennis belongs to a group of young British artists who, for over a decade now, have continued to take a significant lead in focusing attention on the continuing importance of painting in contemporary practice. Born in Colchester in 1958 he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, and in the twenty or so years since graduating he has built up a distinctive and persistent visual language based on networks of pipes which lead us around and through a layered and refracting mass of bubbles which he describes as his bubblescape.

Reminiscent of the folding sticks used by the blind, or bones strung with stretched sinew, the pipes form both the structure of the painting and a platform for a myriad of small figures - travellers, workers, spectators, actors - who perch on the pipes and around the edge of the painting attempting to gain a foothold in a new terrain. Other images are nestled into the bubblescape as a series of fragments that are strung together like a loose story line to record an event or an aspect of human behaviour or a part of the city - people at work or travelling, the Underground, the suburbs, pubs, underpasses, high-rise apartments, factories, motorways and wasteland - so that the painting becomes a fractured narrative of a particular aspect of city life.

The paintings in this exhibition, his first in London since 1999, continue to weave the same visual entanglement. Images of the everyday have been assembled from photographs, magazines, television and video-stills and then subjected to distortions of space and scale and overlaid with ideas of memory, dreams and myths to describe a world that is both real and extraordinary; a kind of expressive vision of the haphazard, labyrinthine and fragile infrastructure that Dennis sees as the crisis of connections that afflict the new metropolis.

He has exhibited regularly in the UK and internationally since 1979 most notably with a solo shows at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1986), the Orchard Gallery, Derry (1993) and regularly in New York and Milan. His inclusion in prestigious group exhibitions include three times in the John Moores, 'The British Art Show 3' which was one of the first exhibitions to focus public attention on younger British artists in the 90's, 'New Voices' organised by the British Council that toured worldwide during 1991-97 and the current British Council's touring exhibition 'Drawing Distinctions'. His work is held in numerous permanent collections throughout the world that include the Arts Council, Tate Gallery, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris and private collections in the UK, Europe and America.

Catalogue available; to obtain a copy please click: publications.


If you have arrived at this page through a search engine please click here to go to our main page.