Clare Kenny works with a variety of materials – such as found objects, building materials, plaster, ceramic, fabric, glass, neon, plexi and spraypaint – yet her work almost always originates in photography, sometimes simply the idea of the photograph. Informed by personal viewpoints and experiences, especially her upbringing and family history, Kenny often toys with notions that relate heavily on a wider level to many people’s lives, where shared histories is a recurring theme throughout Kenny’s practice.
Aspirations of the working class and their determination to better themselves is something Kenny often references within her own work. In ‘enough rope to hang ‘emselves’ neon washing lines are erected with a series of bronze and marbleised sculptural elements as hooks and hoops, replicating the washing lines strung across gardens, ginnels or other available spaces. Her ongoing series of cast plaster works, makes use of domestic buckets, bins or cake tins as moulds. Paint pigment is poured into the plaster to create a mock marbleised finish to the surface of the cast sculptures, which are then stacked or hung.
Addressing personal affiliations with Northern England is inherent, by carefully highlighting the use of domestic objects and use of materials, Kenny transforms them into objects of high esteem, focusing on shared visual memories and aesthetics of aspiration.
Clare Kenny (b. 1976, Manchester, UK) studied her BA at Chelsea School of Art London and MA at HSLU Luzern, Switzerland, and has been living and working in Basel, Switzerland since 2007. She is listed in SIKART, Lexikon zur Kunst, Switzerland; has twice been shortlisted for the Swiss Art Awards; and was awarded the Kunstkredit Prize from the city of Basel in Switzerland in 2013 and 2017/18. She was an artist in residence at Residency Unlimited in New York, USA (2018), at the Institute for Provocation in Beijing, supported by ProHelvetia (2015) and the IAAB cite des artes, Paris (2013).
Kenny has exhibited internationally with solo shows at: Touchstones Museum, Rochdale, UK (2017); VITRINE, London, UK (2013 & 2017); Schwarzwaldallee, Basel (2016), CH; Galerie Gisele Linder, Basel (2014 and 2011), CH; Bureau Gallery, Manchester, UK (2013); DOLL espace d’art contemporain, Lausanne (2012), CH; and ABBT Projects, Zürich (2011), CH.
Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Arresting Fragments of the World’, Kunsthaus Langenthal, CH (2017); ‘Ding Ding’, Aargauer Kunsthaus, CH (2016); ‘Jahresausstellung Zentralschweizer Kunstschaffen’, Kunstmuseum Luzern, CH (2016); ‘A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect’, VITRINE, Basel, CH (2016); ‘Diamonds Always Come in Small Packages’, Kunstmuseum, Luzern, CH (2015); ‘Wilde Capriolen’ AKKU Emmenbrücke, CH (2015); ‘Monolithic Water’ at Kunsthaus Zürich, CH (2014); ‘Asymmetric Dance Class’ at VITRINE, London, UK (2014) Kunstkredit, Kunsthalle Basel, CH (2014); Contemporary Arts Society, ‘Art in the Home 2’, York, UK (2014) and exhibitions at La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse, FR (2013); Accélérateur de particules, Strasbourg, FR (2013);, FABRIKculture, Hégenheim, FR (2013); Kunsthaus Palazzo, Liestal, CH (2013); SAKS Gallery, Geneva, CH (2013); Von Bartha Garage, Basel , CH (2012); Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, CH (2012); Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2011); and Coalmine Gallery, Winterthur, CH (2011).
She has been shown at Artgenève (2019), ARTBASEL (2010-2018), Artforum Berlin; The Manchester Contemporary (2014 & 2016) and Artissima (2014).
Clare Kenny’s public sculpture commission ‘Site Unseen’ launched in July 2016 in Gundeli, Basel.
Forthcoming exhibitions include: the group show ‘If it’s not meant to last, then it’s Performance’ at VITRINE, Basel, CH (February-May 2019) and solo show ‘If I was a Rich Girl’, Kunst Raum Riehen, CH (March – June 2019). She will also be shown by VITRINE at Marfa Invitational (April 2019).