Richard Kirwan

Richard’s practice incorporates painting, digital and analogue printmaking, coupled with architectural intervention.

Staff details

Richard Kirwan


Senior Lecturer in Fine Art




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Richard Kirwan’s studio practice incorporates painting, digital and analogue printmaking, coupled with architectural intervention and installation. His paintings are characterised by an acknowledgement and critical engagement with Modernism, particularly the art historically positioned periods of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptualism and Pop Art.

Kirwan’s paintings explore boundaries between restricted palettes of colour, applied to hard-edged geometric systems and structures, recalling the disciplines of Modernist architecture and design. His work seeks to question assumptions of theoretical and formal hierarchy, displacing notions of ‘purity’ with real world ‘contamination’.

A solo exhibition, The Post-Critical Unknown at Galerie Hollenbach, Stuttgart, Germany, demonstrated Kirwan’s ongoing investigation between painting practice and shifts in comprehension and interpretation brought about by particular or given contexts.

Kirwan’s work has been widely exhibited, both nationally and internationally, with presentations throughout Europe, as well as Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Japan and the USA.

Academic Qualifications

2009 – 2012 External Assessor, 2D Pathway, Central St Martins, UAL

2002 Abbey Fellowship in Painting, British School at Rome, Italy

1992 – 1994 MA, Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London

1989 – 1992 BA, Fine Art, University of Brighton


1999 – present Lecturer in Studio Practice, BA Fine Art & History of Art, Goldsmiths College

1999 – 2002 Visiting Lecturer, BA Fine Art, University of West of England UWE, Bristol

1996 - 1998 Visiting Lecturer, Extension Degree, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Professional projects

2015 Richard Kirwan: Gravity Lecture Series Discovery & The Pleasure of Form Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield.

2014 Richard Kirwan: Painting In Particular Chelsea School of Art UAL, London

2010 Richard Kirwan: René Daniëls Public Gallery Talk, Camden Art Centre, London

2009 La Peinture est Presque Abstrait Public Panel Discussion, Institute Français, London

Featured Publications

La Salle de Bains – Anthologie d’expositions Depuis 1999-2013 Authors: Nicolas Garait-Leavenworth, Jill Gasparina, Bob Nickas, Eric Troncy. Published by Les Presses du Reel et Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication ISBN 978 2 918288 02 9

The Indiscipline of Painting Authors: Terry R Myers, Daniel Sturgis, Alison Greene, Stephen Moonie, Bob Nickas Published by Tate Publishing ISBN 978 1 84976 000 3

Plastic Culture - Legacies of Pop 1986 - 2009 Authors: Dr Roger Cook, Richard Kirwan Published by Harris Museum & Art Gallery ISBN 1 871575 28 1

John Moores 25 - Exhibition of Contemporary Painting Authors: Jake & Dinos Chapman, Sacha Craddock, Graham Crowley, Paul Morrison Published by National Museums, Liverpool ISBN 978 1 902700 35 9

Painting As a Foreign Language Authors: Gerard Hemsworth, Suhail Malik Published by Edificio Cultura Inglesa, Brazil ISBN 85 88116 07 3

Publications and research outputs


Kirwan, Richard. 2023. An Artist's Question, July. In: "An Artist's Question, July", British School at Rome Gallery, Italy, July 2023.

Kirwan, Richard. 2022. Richard Kirwan - Intelectual Property. In: "Richard Kirwan - Intelectual Property", Lungley Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 18 November 2022 - 14 January 2023.

David, Karen. 2020. The Collector's Room. In: "The Collector's Room", JGM Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 20 March - 14 June 2020.

Exhibition Catalogue

Kirwan, Richard and Bolivar, Juan. 2022. Richard Kirwan - Intelectual Property.

David, Karen. 2020. The Collector's Room.

Simpson, Martyn and Watson, David. R. 2018. Why Patterns?.

Conference or Workshop Item

Kirwan, Richard; Donkor, Kimathi and Ince-Mitchell, Jerome. 2022. 'Painting Symposium'. In: Painting Symposium. Camberwell College of Arts, UAL, United Kingdom 14 June 2022.

Wang, Victor and Kirwan, Richard. 2021. 'Landless Art Histories – Why London is Also Part of Asia'. In: Landless Art Histories – Why London is Also Part of Asia. Royal Academy Schools, London, United Kingdom 24 March 2021.

Kirwan, Richard. 2021. 'In conversation – Wolfgang Tillmans & Richard Kirwan'. In: Wolfgang Tilmans in conversation with Richard Kirwan. London, United Kingdom 25 January 2021.

Art Object

Kirwan, Richard. 2020. Prototype for an Illusionistic Screen (2020).

Kirwan, Richard. 2018. Flow State.


Kirwan, Richard. 2016. Jasper Johns : Regrets – The Courtauld Gallery London, 12th September – 14th December 2014. Journal of Contemporary Painting, 2(1), pp. 133-155. ISSN 2052-6695

Professional Activity

Kirwan, Richard. 2022. External Examiner City & Guilds School of Art London.

Kirwan, Richard. External Examiner 2D Pathway, Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London.