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British abstract painter, printmaker, and designer. He was born at Abinger, Surrey, and studied at *St Martin's School of Art and the *Royal College of Art, 1951–7. He was among the young British painters enormously impressed by the scale and energy of *Abstract Expressionist painting. Early paintings such as Red Beat 6 (1958) combined *gestural handling with lettering: like the *Pop artists, Denny was fascinated by the qualities of urban space. In 1959, alongside Richard *Smith and Ralph Rumney (1934–2002), a painter with connections to the *Situationist International, he mounted ‘Place’ at the *Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The paintings were organized in a kind of maze which forced the viewer up close against them. In 1960 he helped organize the first *‘Situation’ exhibition, a landmark in British abstract art.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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