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Nick Rooney (b. 1989 Canada) Obtained his MA in Painting from the University of the Arts London, at the Camberwell College of Arts in London, England. 

Much of his early career was spent focusing on the craft of oil painting developing a contemporary art practice deeply rooted in art history. While his current studio work and research now look at the relationship between the reductive formalism of geometric minimalism and the complexity of classical realism. He has had the opportunity to teach workshops on historical drawing and painting techniques and the making of oil paint to a wide range of both private and students from the Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Nick Rooney has taken part in exhibitions both locally as well as internationally, most recently being selected to participate in the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibition London Grads Now.  




My painting practice focuses on the dialectic between realism and abstraction.  In particular, I am fascinated by the countless associative meanings inherent in art historical works and the explicit denial of overt meaning in geometric flat shapes. By pairing the painted representation, in whole or in part, of famous works of art and flat shapes, a destabilizing and disorienting effect occurs.  The contrast between the reductive formalism of geometric minimalism and the complexity of classical realism creates an opportunity to examine how we attach meaning to the objects around us. 


I am interested in how painting as a visual language can produce such seemingly contradictory results: the convincing illusion of volumetric forms and also the extreme simplification of flat shapes. The resulting tension is the animating force in my paintings.

There is the initial disparity between the realistic representation of a recognizable work of art and the abstract shapes in its orbit. The more one looks, however, the more disorienting the experience. The historical work is set on an angle, denied a stable footing in space. It seems wrenched away from its historical moorings and context. Further, its relationship to the abstract shapes sets up a dialogue that makes us think about how we experience the world.


I am greatly influenced by and stimulated by art history. In examining museum collections, I seek out objects with rich historical and narrative meanings that somehow resonate with me personally.  Specifically, I love the brilliant illusionism of 17th-century Dutch still-life painting. I am also drawn to sculpture from antiquity to the late 19th century. At the same time, I am very interested in the emergence of abstraction.  I am aware of the denial of meaning in formalist criticism yet I am convinced that even the most simplified shapes may suggest the unknown, leading to greater insights and spiritual truths. In my painting, I try to suggest more than what meets the eye. Both a realistically depicted still-life and an abstract shape speak to the human condition. By bringing together in one frame both my passion for realistic historical representation and minimalist geometric abstraction, I am trying to stimulate a deeper understanding of human nature.  These disquieting juxtapositions are jarring, shaking us out of our complacency. By heightening our awareness, painting can help us to be more reflective as we try to comprehend the fragmented perception and uncertainties of our times.  






  • Masters in Fine Arts, Painting.  University of the Arts London- Camberwell. London, England


  • Bachelor of Fine Arts , Painting . Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, Alberta. 



  • Jason Lang Scholarship - 2011

  • Jason Lang Scholarship- 2010




  • Messengers, Nov 22-23. New Edward Gallery, Calgary Alberta 




  • Saatchi Gallery presents, London Grads Now- Royal College of Art, Slade School of Art, Goldsmiths: University of London. Saatchi Gallery. London, England. 


  • Ghost Stories, September 13-October 10. Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Paint Pushers, 11th Annual Group Show, September 27-29, 1838 Westmount Rd NW, Calgary Alberta. 


  • New Edward Gallery:Under Five Hundred Group Show, Dec 14- 22. New Edward Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • The Paint Exhibition, October 12-13. 239-29 Ave NE, Calgary Alberta.

  • Art Calgary 2018 , March 15-17. cSpace King Edward , Calgary Alberta. 

  • Peoples Portrait Prize, March 12-24. cSpace King Edward, Calgary Alberta .


  • Neon & Cream Pop up Show, December 1-2. St. Louis Hotel, Calgary Alberta. 

  • ​Daydreamers Group Show, October 20-21. 239-29 Ave NE, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Trinity Group Show, June 21-24. Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Connections 2017 Group Show, June 16-July 8. Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Peoples Portrait Prize, March 19-25 . cSpace King Edward, Calgary Alberta. 



  • Unicorn Dreams Group Show, October 14-15. 239-29 Ave NE, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Second Coming Group Show, June 24- 30. Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Connections 2016 Group Show, June 17-July 9. Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary Alberta. 

  • Collaborations in Paint. Group Show , June 3-July 31. Peanut Gallery , Calgary Alberta 



  • The Changing Face, Calgary Contemporary Portraiture. Group Show, September 1-30.           Essentia, Calgary, Alberta             

  • Connections 2015 Group Show. June 12-July 4, Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary Alberta 



  • Louder Than Words ACAD Grad Show, May 17-26,  ACAD, Calgary, Alberta 2011  

  • Terrible Disappointments Fourth Year Painting Show. November 6-12,   

    ACAD, Calgary, Alberta  

  • 4th International Art Fair “Antik & Kunst Stuttgart -Sirdelfingen”. January, 

    Stuttgart, Germany 



  •   Blank Canvas. October 1st, Higher Ground, Calgary, Alberta 

  •   Arte Moderna Dalla Polonia. September 18- October 8, Gallery Pliedro,    Trieste Italy 



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