John Kindness was born in Belfast in 1951 and studied fine art at the Belfast College of Art (now the University of Ulster) and worked as a graphic designer for the BBC before devoting himself full-time to art making in 1986.
Since then he has held fellowships in the International Studio Program at PS1 in New York and the British School in Rome. His exhibition, “Treasures of New York,” led to solo exhibitions at the ICA in Philadelphia, the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin, the Drawing Room in New York, and Littlejohn Contemporary.
His work is collected in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, British Council, Imperial War Museum, National Gallery of Ireland, Ulster Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum.
John Kindness has been one of the artists most prominent in providing iconic images of a Belfast with his sculptures at the bus station and the weir. His waterfall at the bus station, constructed out of the shards of broken ornaments of the kind that suggest Irish quaintness perhaps reminds us of the old kitch take on our cultural roots while presenting them as litter, washed away.
Projects and Commissions:
2015 Commission for permanent artwork, new exhibition centre, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Commission to design St. Patrick’s Day postage stamp, An Post, Ireland
2013 The Neuro hypothetical currency distributed via museum donation boxes,
major public galleries & museums, London & Dublin
Ninja Turtle Harp street poster distribution linking to website
2012 Gaswork permanent artwork , docklands, Dublin
2010 The Labour Monument Elmwood Park, Philadelphia
2009 Herakles & the Birds SOURCE Arts Centre & Library, Thurles, Ireland
2008 Portrait of Elizabeth Meehan Queens University, Belfast
05/06 The Loathly Lady animated opera project with writer Wendy Steiner
2003 Sisters portraits on car bonnets, civic offices, Ballymun, Dublin
3 Orders of Periwigs (after William Hogarth) Bar Library, Belfast
2000 Gay Byrne Wallpaper, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
1999 Bigfish permanent art work Donegall Quay, Belfast
1998 Museum of the Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly Children’s Hospital, Belfast
2014 ‘Odysseus’ Galway Arts Festival, Ireland
09/10 Belfast Frescoes with cross-community project, Ulster Museum Belfast
2008 An English Interior Foundling Museum, London
2007 Aristotle Contemplating Laundry Slate Gallery, Williamsburg, New York
English Pictures Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin
2006 Retrospective 1986-2006 Switch Room, Belfast (now Golden Thread)
2003 Car Paint portraits, Littlejohn Contemporary, New York
2001 Studio Show British School at Rome
1999 The Savage God Installation in project space, Drawing Centre, New York
1997 John Kindness Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
Solo show Littlejohn Contemporary, New York
1995 Belfast Frescoes Ulster Museum, Belfast & Kerlin Gallery Dublin
1992 Treasures of New York Art In General, New York & Kerlin Gallery Dublin
1990 Kindness Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2015 Mediation on Plates, Irish Pavillion at Expo, Milan
2014 Sectarian Armour, new display, Imperial War Museum, London
Art of the Troubles, Ulster Museum, Belfast
Meditation on Plates, Casino at Marino, Dublin
Re-framing the Domestic in Irish Art, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda
2013 Catalyst: Contemporary Art & War Imperial War Museum North
2012 Who do you see when you look at me? Burren College of Art, Ireland
2011 Peeping Tom (as below) Kunsthal KaDe, Amersfoort, Netherlands
2010 Peeping Tom curated by Keith Coventry, Vegas Gallery, London
2009 ‘Night Canvass’ special showing of an early work at RHA, Dublin
2008 Me v. U. (young curators selection) Oriel Davies Gallery, Powys, Wales
2007 Driven Fieldgate Gallery, London
Top 20 ‘39London’ Images from National Gallery’s favourite postcards.
2006 Wandering Rocks Gimpel Fils, London
Responding to Rome Estorick Collection, London
2005 Artfutures Bloomberg Space, London
Wunderkammer curated by Edward Allington
Caution: Uneven Surfaces, Temporarycontemporary gallery, London
Paint on Metal, Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona, U.S.A.
2004 At War, Centre de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, Spain
Views From An Island, MMM, Beijing, and Shanghai Art Museum, China
Time Capsule, Art in General, New York
In the Time of Shaking (with Amnesty International) IMMA, Dublin
2003 Time Capsule Artists inspired by archaeology Art In General, New York
2002 Ierse Kunst Stedelijk Museum, Aalst, Belgium
2015 Kohler Arts/Industry Award, residency using cast-iron, enamel & ceramics, WI, USA
2014 Gottlieb Foundation award
2003 Pollock Krasner Foundation award
2001 Sargant Fellowship, British School at Rome
1997 Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia
1995 Artist in Residence, Ulster Museum, Belfast
1990 PS1, International studio Program, New York
Odysseus, Galway Arts Festival
John Kindness Retrospective On-line catalogue, Switch Room, Belfast, HYPERLINK
“http://www.johnkindness.co.uk” Essays: Marianne O’Kane, Wendy Steiner
Belfast Frescoes, Crowquill/Ulster Museum. Essay: Ciaran Carson
Kindness, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin. Essay: John Carson
Treasures of New York, Kerlin Gallery/A.C.N.I. Essays: Lucy Lippard, David Sandlin.
Selected Public Collections:
British Museum, London
Boston Museum of Fine Art, U.S.A.
British Council, U.K.
Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
Imperial War Museum, London
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Ulster Museum, Belfast
Victoria & Albert Museum, London