Kevin McAleenan responds to Ireland and beyond in beautifully balanced blocks of colour. His paintings actively shift between realism and abstraction — between what he remembers and what you think you see — bringing you fresh appreciation with each viewing.
Born in Banbridge, County Down, Kevin graduated in 1985 with ‘BA Hons Art and Design’ from Ulster University. He was one of the country’s top commercial illustrators for 15 years, working primarily in advertising and publishing – illustrating children’s favourite ‘Horrid Henry’ was a career highlight.
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Seeking a more personal outlet, he began painting. This is Kevin’s 2Oth year as a professional artist, exhibiting original works in selected galleries throughout Ireland and beyond at leading international art fairs and also undertaking many private commissions.
“Kevin's works are very much for both the national and International market, as we have seen recently in New York and also London. The feedback that we received and the number of paintings purchased in these two cities was overwhelming.” Sol Gallery, Dublin.
His work is in the collections of the Office of Public Works Dublin, The Open University, Queen’s University Belfast and in private European, Far Eastern and American collections. A growing collection of limited edition giclée prints of selected works can be purchased here.
1962 Born, Banbridge Co.Down 1982-85 University of Ulster, BA Hons Art and Design
2001 Java Gallery Belfast 2003 Manor Fine Arts Banbridge 2005 McGilloway Gallery Derry 2006 McGilloway Gallery Derry 2007 ‘Speech Matters’ Exhibition, Europa Hotel Belfast 2008 McGilloway Gallery Derry 2011 McKenna Gallery Omagh 2012 Sol Art Gallery Dublin
Selected Group Exhibitions
2004 Gallery M Lurgan 2004 Waterfront Hall Belfast ‘In it there is…’ 2004 Gallery M Lurgan Three Artists Exhibition 2004 Waring Gallery Moira 2005 Gallery 148 Holywood 2005 McGilloway Gallery Derry 2005 The Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition Belfast 2006 Lorca Gallery USA 2006 Dog House Gallery Comber 2007 Gallery M Lurgan 2007 Cong Art Gallery 2007 Tom Caldwell Gallery Summer Exhibition 2008 Tom Caldwell Gallery Joint Exhibition 2008 ‘Art of Caring Exhibition’ Belfast 2009 Cong Art Gallery 2009 McGilloway Gallery Derry 2009 McKenna Gallery Omagh 2009 Castle Upton Gallery ‘Coasts’ Exhibition 2009 Anna Cheyne Visual Art Awards Exhibition Lisburn 2009 McKenna Gallery invited artists Exhibition 2009 Doghouse Gallery 2009 Tom Caldwell Gallery Summer & Christmas Exhibitions 2010 Doghouse Gallery ‘Heads’ Exhibition invited artists 2010 Cong Art Gallery 2010 McGilloway Gallery Derry Summer & Christmas Exhibitions 2010 Castle Upton Gallery Summer Exhibition 2010 ‘Art of Caring’ Exhibiton Belfast 2010 Tom Caldwell Gallery Belfast Summer Exhibition 2010 Mckenna Gallery Omagh Winter exhibition 2010 Sol Gallery Dublin Christmas Show 2011 Castle Upton Gallery 2011 Tom Caldwell Gallery Belfast Summer Exhibition 2011 The Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition Belfast 2012 ‘Art of Caring Exhibition’ Belfast 2012 London with Sol Art Gallery 2013 Sol Art Gallery Dublin 2013 London with Sol Art Gallery 2014 VUE Exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin 2014 Milan with Sol Art Gallery 2014 Sol Art Gallery Dublin 2015 London with Sol Art Gallery 2015 VUE Exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin 2015 Singapore with Sol Art Gallery 2015 Hong Kong with Sol Art Gallery 2016 London with Sol Art Gallery 2016 Bristol with Sol Art Gallery 2016 New York with Sol Art Gallery 2016 VUE Exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin 2016 London with Sol Art Gallery 2017 New York with Sol Art Gallery 2017 Bristol with Sol Art Gallery 2017 London with Sol Art Gallery 2017 Chicago with Sol Art Gallery 2018 Boyle Arts Festival 2018 VUE Exhibition RHA Dublin with Sol Art Gallery
Office of Public Works Dublin The Open University Queen’s University Belfast
Kevin’s process is a lesson in meditative patience with original pieces taking up to two months to complete. Compositions are initially resolved by pencil in Kevin’s sketch book, before being drawn to scale on canvas.
Paintings begin with either a flat red underpainting — to provide a contrasting base for colours, or a tonal red underpainting — to indicate areas light and shade.
Each colour block is then added meticulously — balanced and counterbalanced. Blocks will be painted over many times in the process, until the painting feels right.“
Painting is like a high-wire act for me, constantly balancing what I see on one side with what I feel about it on the other. My paintings aim to actively shift before your eyes, teetering on the tensions between realism and abstraction to keep the balance.”
This simplified animated sequence shows eight weeks of work in a matter of moments.
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