David Quinn Irish, b. 1971

Born in Dublin, David Quinn is a painter, designer and contemporary Irish artist. He studied Visual Communications at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) from 1989 to 1993 before embarking on a career as a visual artist and has exhibited regularly since 1995. He paints small-scale and intimate paintings that at first appear to be sparse, simple, abstract works, minimal and understated. However when viewed closely and focusing on the edges, the viewer will see the layers built up like strata in sedimentary rock. Each layer is a page, a painting that Quinn has stuck down, studied, added to and covered up. Images where the paint has been pulled, scraped and scratched. Quinn works on several miniature paintings at once and views them as markers of time. They are abstract but they represent time worked and time spent in contemplation. The finished paintings are summaries of the process of their creation, concentrated essences. Quinn draws on minimalism, book design, musical notation, signwriting and the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. This is an aesthetic approach that draws on Buddhism and the Japanese world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.


"Most of my favourite works of art are small. Pieces by Kurt Schwitters, Paul Klee, Agnes Martin, Charles Brady and Forrest Bess come to mind. I also love old Russian icons and miniature Persian paintings.  Simonides I think said 'painting is silent poetry' and I see these small pieces of mine as visual haikus. They remind me of old paperback books, which I love".

David Quinn


The artist lives and works in Shillelagh, County Wicklow, Ireland. In 2015 Quinn was the recipient of the Tony O'Malley Studio Residency Award, Ireland. He has also completed residencies at Roundstone Arts Week (2005), Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2006) and DIT's School of Art, Design & Printing (2012). In 2014 he received a bursary award from DLR Arts. He is co-curator of the 'Lacuna' exhibition series at Taylor Galleries, Dublin.


David Quinn has had solo exhibitions in Dublin, Belfast, London, Brussels, Tokyo and Sydney. Recent solo shows include 'New Paintings' at Purdy Hicks, London (2018); 'Paintings' at Yanagisawa Gallery, Tokyo (2018); 'David Quinn' at Gana Art Hannam, Seoul (2019); and 'Verse' Rossicontemporary, Brussels (2020).  Quinn's work is represented in numerous private collections in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA. Artworks in public collections include Electric Ireland, Bank of Ireland, the Office of Public Works - State Art Collection, AIB Corporate Banking, Eaton Corporation and the Morrison Hotel, Dublin.