Coventry

Bio

Keith Coventry is a British artist and curator. In September 2010 his Spectrum Jesus painting won the £25,000 John Moores Painting Prize. Coventry studied Fine Art at Brighton Polytechnic - now the Faculty of Arts (University of Brighton) - from 1978 to 1981 followed by an MA at Chelsea School of Art, graduating in 1982. Before he could support himself through his art he had a number of jobs, including working as a painter and decorator for the infamous property magnate Nicholas Van Hoogstraten and as a caretaker at a girls' public school in London. His first solo exhibition was at Karsten Schubert gallery in 1992. Charles Saatchi was an early advocate and collector, featuring Coventry in Young British Artists V (1995) at his gallery on Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London; he was also in the Sensation exhibition, which exposed the Young British Artists (YBAs) to a wider audience when it was staged at the Royal Academy in 1997. In 2006, he received a mid-career retrospective at Glasgow's Tramway (arts centre). Since 2006, he has exhibited in London, Zurich, Berlin, and Seoul. Coventry's work features in many public collections, including the Tate gallery, London, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). In 2009, the Arts Council England, with the support of The Art Fund, acquired a large number of works from his 'Crack City Series'. He was also a co-founder and curator of City Racing, an influential not-for-profit gallery in Kennington which gave artists like Sarah Lucas, Gillian Wearing and Fiona Banner early exposure and was later celebrated in the book, City Racing, The Life and Times of an Artist-run Gallery.

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