Robyn Denny


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.


After national service in the Royal Navy, he studied at St Martin's School of Art (1951–54) and the Royal College of Art (1954–57). After graduating, he was awarded a scholarship to study in Italy, then went onto teach part-time at Hammersmith, Slade and Bath Academy Schools of Art.

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. 

Denny's most frequently seen (and most often overlooked) work is the public art in the form of coloured lines, installed in the Embankment Tube Station in London in 1985.

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Robyn Denny

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