Richard Kirwan

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer in Fine Art
Department Art
Email r.kirwan (
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 2228
Richard Kirwan

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. 2018. Now It Is Permitted. In: "Now It Is Permitted", Lincoln, United Kingdom, July 2018 - August 2019.

Kirwan, Richard. 2017. Earth, Wind and Fire. In: "Earth, Wind and Fire", Griffin Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 7 September - 20 October 2017.

Kirwan, Richard. 2014. Neue Diptychen. In: "Richard Kirwan – Neue Diptychen", Galerie Hollenbach, Stuttgart, Germany, 27 November 2014 - 6 January 2015.

Kirwan, Richard. 2010. Richard Kirwan - New Work. In: "Richard Kirwan - New work", Galerie Hollenbach, Stuttgart, Germany.

Kirwan, Richard and Oldfield, Simon. 2010. Modern Love. In: "MODERN LOVE", Simon Oldfield Gallery, London, United Kingdom, October 7th - November 13th 2010.

Kirwan, Richard. 2009. Plastic Culture - Legacies of Pop 1986 - 2008. In: "Touring exhibition", Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, United Kingdom, March 2009 - February 2010.

Kirwan, Richard and Sturgis, Daniel. 2009. Liz Arnold. In: "Liz Arnold", Camden Arts Centre, London, United Kingdom.

Kirwan, Richard. 2007. Modern Manners. In: "Modern Manners", Galerie Hollenbach, 2/12/2007 - 4/10/2007.

Kirwan, Richard. 2006. Sweetness and Light. In: "Sweetness and Light", Marksman Gallery, 5/11/2006 - 6/18/2006.

Kirwan, Richard. 2002. Free love and Modern love. In: "Free love and Modern love", The British School at Rome, 9/17/2002 - 9/21/2002.

Kirwan, Richard. 2001. Surface Tension: New British Painting. In: "Surface Tension: New British Painting", Gallery Holly Snapp, 6/6/2001 - 7/25/2001.


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