Dr Dean Kenning

School: School of Art and Architecture
Position: Research Fellow


My artworks include kinetic sculpture, sound, video, animation, drawing, collage, text-based work and live performance. Some works utilise a non-contemplative aesthetic of material compulsion, B-movie horror and 'idiocy', and others are directly communicative, concerned with political subject matter and often used in pedagogical situations. I am interested in the possibilities and limits of philosophical and political representation by visual means, for example through diagrammatic and allegorical approaches. I see art as an exploratory thinking tool, which operates by confronting and testing social, symbolic and aesthetic material. I believe artists can also help to change the conditions and culture within which art takes place. My work has been shown at the ICA, Five Years, Xero, Kline & Coma, BAK and the Whitechapel Gallery.

I have written, amongst other things, on the politics of the art world, art and activism, 'idiot art', and art education, publishing in journals such as Art Monthly, Third Text and Mute. I have organised symposia on art and use (Whitechapel Gallery), on gallery education (Tate Modern) and on artistic approaches to diagrammatic research (ICA). At Kingston I have published a series of illustrated booklets of artist talks and conversations based on transcripts from the Stanley Picker public lectures series.

Related links

Research expertise

My research is currently focused on diagrams as thinking and learning tools, allegorical and diagrammatic modes of political representation, Marxist economic theory, fine art education, politics of the art world, visual and drawing-based pedagogical methodologies, stereoscopic gifs, kinetic and sound sculpture.

Kenning. D. 'Thinking Through Art: The Social Body Mind Maps' in Addison, N & Burgess, L, Learning to Teach Art And Design in the Secondary School, London & New York: Routledge, 2014

Kenning, D. 'Introduction' in Beck, J & Cornford, M, The Art School & the Culture Shed, London: Centre for Useless Splendour, 2014

Drew B, Hart E, Jenkins D, Kenning D, Till C (The Work in Progress), with an Introduction by Hatherley O. Reclaim the Mural. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2013

Kenning, D. 'What Schools Can Offer Art: Towards an Avant-Gardist Conception of Gallery Education', Visual Culture in Britain, December 2013

Building the Fetish, 'Unannounced Acts of Publicness', Granary Square Kings Cross, 2015

Plague of Diagrams, ICA, London (created with David Burrows and DRUGG), 2015

MKI Biennale, Halberstadt, 2014

The Starseed Transmission, Enclave, 2013

To The Reader, BAK, Utrecht, 2013

Teaching areas & responsibilities

PhD supervision

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 2008PhD The Political Nature of Art Today London Consortium, Birkbeck, AHRB funded
  • 2001MA European Literature, Culture & Thought QMW
  • 1997BA(Hons) Fine Art Goldsmiths College

Conferences & events

2016 Transitions Out of Fine Art Education Symposium, Glasgow School of Art (25 June 2016)

2016 Reflections on the Work of Albert Hunt/Within the Art School and Without, Bradford School of Art (17 March, 2016)

2015 Play Sense. Transitions Out of Fine Art Education: Talking, Gerald Moore Gallery (23 May 2015)

2014 Reading PhD Research Symposium: Conversation, Reading University (Keynote speaker, 20 June 2014)

2014 Heroes and monsters: extra-ordinary tales of learning and teaching in the arts and humanities, Manchester Metropolitan University (4 June 2014)

2013 Anti-Academy: Symposium, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (23 Nov 2013)

2013 Reclaim the Mural: Utopian Legacies in London, Whitechapel Gallery (27 Sept 2013)

2013 Film-Philosophy Conference 2013: Beyond Film. Visualising political philosophy through animation and film, ASCA (Amsterdam) and EYE Film Institute NL (10 – 12 July 2013)

2013 Ink Now! Posters, Collectives & Art, CASS/London Met (4 June, 2013)

2013 6th International Critical Theory Conference of Rome, John Felice Rome Centre (6 May 2013)

2012 Towards an Avant-Gardist Conception of Gallery Education [co-organiser and speaker], Tate Modern (8 Dec)


Selected Exhibitions
CAPITAL, Capital Drawing Group (Andrew Cooper, Enda Deburca, Dean Kenning, John Russell), Xero, Kline & Coma, 2013

Space Release CIRCA, Newcastle, 2012

Reclaim the Mural, The Work In Progress (Benedict Drew, Emma Hart, Dai Jenkins, Dean Kenning, Corinna Till), Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2011

Commonism, Five Years, London, 2010

The Dulwich Horror: HP Lovecraft and the Crisis in British Housing, Space Station Sixty-Five, London, 2007

Selected Curatorial Projects
Plague of Diagrams, with David Burrows and DRUGG (exhibition, performances, workshop and symposium), ICA, 2015

Unannounced Acts of Publicness, with AIR (10 newly commissioned public art works), Granary Square, 2015

Book cover for Benjamin Noys, Malign Velocities, Zero Books, 2014


DRUGG (Diagram, Research, Use & Generation Group) 2012-15

Art Education Forum: 2012-14

Tate Education commissioned research for Schools & Teachers programme 2011-12

Previous grants from Elephant Trust and British Council

Collections: Grundy Art Gallery

Helped to set up the Portman Gallery in Morpeth School, Bethnal Green

Research groups & programmes

Research supervision

External research supervision

  • 2016 - presAlice Rekab PhD
    London Graduate School


Number of items: 15.


Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2012) Untitled. (Kinetic sound sculpture installation).


Kenning, Dean and Kern, Margareta (2013) Art & Politics: which side is art on. Art Monthly, 369, pp. 1-4. ISSN (print) 0142-6702

Kenning, Dean (2013) What schools can offer art: towards an avant-gardist conception of gallery education. Visual Culture in Britain, 14(3), pp. 319-341. ISSN (print) 1471-4787

Kenning, Dean (2012) Refusing conformity and exclusion in art education. Mute, ISSN (online) 1356-7748


Drew, Benedict, Hart, Emma, Jenkins, Dal, Kenning, Dean and Till, Corinna (2013) Reclaim the mural. London, U.K. : Whitechapel Gallery. 32p. ISBN 9780854882090

Book Section

Kenning, Dean [Interviewee] (2016) Dr Dean Kenning is a Research Fellow in The School of Fine Art at Kingston University. He is also a writer and an artist, most recently writing about art education. We interviewed him at the Royal Festival Hall, London. In: Allen, Jo and Rowles, Sarah, (eds.) Professional practice : 20 questions : Interviews with UK undergraduate Fine Art staff exploring how students are prepared for life after art school. London, U.K. : Q-Arts. pp. 221-232. ISBN 9780956435583

Addison, Nicholas, Burgess, Lesley, Kinsella, Victoria and Kenning, Dean (2015) Learning in art and design education. In: Addison, Nicholas and Burgess, Lesley, (eds.) Learning to teach art and design in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 21-70. ISBN 9780415842891

Kenning, Dean (2015) Thinking through art: the social body mind map. In: Addison, Nicholas and Burgess, Lesley, (eds.) Learning to teach art and design in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. 3rd ed. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. ISBN 9780415842884

Kenning, Dean (2010) Circling the borders. In: Sassi, Andrea, (ed.) Across the boarders. Reggio Emilia, Italy : Dispari & Dispari. pp. 28-40. ISBN 9788895600024

Conference or Workshop Item

Cornford, Matthew, Rodriguez, Soraya and Kenning, Dean (2016) Panel 4. In: Transitions Out of Fine Art Education; 25 Jun 2016, Glasgow, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2016) Freedom and control within the art school. In: Reflections on the Work of Albert Hunt / Within the Art School and Without; 17 Mar 2016, Bradford, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2016) The social body mind map. In: Words of Art; 29 Nov 2016, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2015) Exploratory diagrams. In: Plague of Diagrams : Symposium; 22 Aug 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2015) Social body mind mapping. In: Play Sense : Talking; 23 May 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Berriman, Sovay [Artist], Plastique Fantastique, [Artist], Harris, Rowena [Artist], Kenning, Dean [Artist], Rebelo, Ines [Artist] and Sames, Lucy A. [Curator of an exhibition] (2013) The Starseed transmission: a diagrammatic message from outer space. The Starseed Transmission. .

This list was generated on Mon Jun 26 04:26:59 2017 BST.
Untitled (keyboards), Embassy Gallery, 2012 (kinetic sound sculpture)
Metallurgy of the Subject, SPACE, 2011 (chalk on blackboard)
The Dulwich Horror (Cthulhu), Camberwell Road, London SE5, 2007-2011