Born in Surrey in October 1930, Robyn Denny was one of a group of young artists who reacted againtst the mainstream landscape-based painting of the St Ives School in the late 1950s. Inspired by Abstract Expresssionism, American films, popular culture and urban modernity, he saw abstract painting as the only conceivable route.
Among the paintings Denny created at the Royal College are rudimentary images of heads, with dripped and dribbled paint. These were interspersed with abstract collages and large gestural paintings which display the broad gestures and bold marks of American Abstract Expressionism. His work later went onto develop a new intensity of colour, shifting from rich, dark harmonies to high, bright contrasts.