Rodney E. Denne (RED) is an established Detroit artist. He is well-known for creating dynamic contemporary figurative and abstract paintings.
Born in 1971, RED was drawn to art at a very early age. Years of service in the US Air Force has influenced his work. His emotional, large-scaled figures encapsulate viewers through their textural patterns. After serving in the military, RED mentored under artist Bob Jacobson. He received a BA in Art and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s College. He then gained gallery representation at the age of 27.
“I am nature; a part of all things. My art must come from within. I am also a product of urban and suburban environments and try to capture that feeling in my paintings. Within the background of my paintings, I use the images and words of mysticism, religion, myth and the Divine unknown. I use many colors, but I am also drawn to black and white.”
Each painting’s title reflects a personal connection to RED’s past and present. For example, he draws influence from the mid-century European art movement COBRA. His work also falls in line with artists such as Paul Klee, Franz Klein, Bob Thompson, CY Twombly, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and William De-Kooning.
RED describes himself as an abstract expressionist and a contemporary figure painter. For instance, his mid-century modern style infused with his personal experiences creates dramatic compositions.
RED creates his bold pieces by using an unusual technique with oil sticks. Consequently, this allows him to produce expressive line work, layering texture, and unique imagery. Additionally, he ventured into collage in 2007. In his own words, “I work on both painting styles at one time, divided by the figure and color, as well as black and white. I find the need to fulfill both desires in the creation of my paintings.”
Throughout his career, RED has created a large body of work. He uses both vibrant colors and thick mono-chromatic texture. In his collage and more colorful works, he adds imagery of cars, nature, robotics, and the human body to symbolize grounding. In his highly textured black and white paintings, bold abstract figure-like shapes juxtapose delicate background patterns.
Rodney E. Denne states, “I paint because I must. It is in me; it is alive and must be reconciled and fulfilled.”
The works of art that have given RED international recognition can be found in select fine art galleries and private collections throughout the United Sates as well as Europe.
2011 Ashland University (summer session), Ashland, OHIO
1998 Bachelor of Arts, Saint Mary’s College
The Penske Family
Cedar Crest Academy
Ashley Gold (of American Jewelry and Loan’s reality series Hardcore Pawn)
2020 Art Leaders Gallery, West Bloomfield
2016 Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Detroit, Michigan
2014 LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
2014 Detroit Artist’s Market, Detroit, Michigan.
2014 Buckham Gallery, Flint, Michigan
2012 Franklin Barry Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana
2009 Buckham Gallery, Flint, Michigan
2002 Danielle Peleg Gallery, West Bloomfield, Michigan
2002 European Biennial and Paris International Gran Prix Fnam Art Space, Paris, France,
2002 South Miami Biennial, Prayer for Peace, Paris, France
2001 Mussee Des Beaux Arts D’unet Gallery, Franc
2001 Mussee D’Art-Moderne, France
2001 Arts Form Gallery, New York, New York
2000 Gallery Alexie, New York, New York
1999 Lawrence Street Gallery, Ferndale, Michigan
2021 ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan
2019 Art Leaders Gallery, West Bloomfield, Michigan
2018 Art Prize, Grand Rapids, Michigan
2017 Kresge Foundation, Troy, Michigan
2016 Kresge Foundation, Troy, Michigan
2015 Kresge Foundation, Troy, Michigan
2015 LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
2014 Detroit Artist Market, Biannual All Media Exhibition
2014 Buckham Gallery, Flint, Michigan
2006 Cameron Scott Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
2005 Cameron Scott Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
American Art Collector, Fall 2016
Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 28
Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 26
Style Magazine, Detroit, Michigan
Islander news, Florida
Alliance Magazine, France
Oakland Press, Pontiac, Michigan
Gam Guide, Galleries Arts, Montreal, Canada
Metro Times, Royal Oak, Michigan
Encyclopedia of Living Artist 11th Edition
Clarkston News, Clarkston, Michigan
Hour Magazine, Detroit, Michigan
Detroit News, Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan
Jewish News, Detroit, Michigan
Coterie Magazine, Chicago, Illinois
Fox 2 News, Detroit, Michigan