James Rielly

Born in Wales in 1956. Lives and works between Paris and the South of France.

The highly characteristic works of British painter James Rielly focus on the clichés, ideologies and metaphors of children. Creating subversive and at times surreal portraits of bright-eyed, school-aged youths, Rielly addresses notions of societal tension and pictorial tradition. His most well-known series are Casual Influences (2000) and Sensible Ways (96-97), which consist of large-scale portraits inspired by stories and images taken from local newspaper articles. Through the act of highlighting certain features and roles in children, Rielly’s pieces bring out the dysfunctional nature of adults.

Rielly has shown his paintings in a number of solo exhibitions since 1983 including Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes, France, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, Fond Regional d’Art Contemporain Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, Centro de Arte de Salamanca (CASA), Salamanca, Spain, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, among many others. In 1995 he was awarded a MOMART fellowship at Tate Gallery and in 1997 he was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize. He has been Professor of Painting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France since 2006.

*Didier Semin. Translation by Cole Swensen.


James Rielly

Né au Pays de Galles en 1956. Vit et travaille actuellement entre Pari et le sud de la France.

Les œuvres très caractéristiques du peintre britannique James Rielly se concentrent sur les clichés, les idéologies et les métaphores des enfants. Créant des portraits subversifs et parfois surréalistes de jeunes aux yeux brillants et d’âge scolaire, Rielly aborde les notions de tension sociale et de tradition picturale. Ses séries les plus connues sont Casual Influences (2000) et Sensible Ways (96-97), qui consistent en des portraits à grande échelle inspirés par des histoires et des images tirées d’articles de journaux locaux. En mettant en évidence certains traits et rôles chez les enfants, les œuvres de Rielly font ressortir la nature dysfonctionnelle des adultes.

Depuis 1983, Rielly a présenté ses peintures dans le cadre de plusieurs expositions individuelles, notamment au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes, France, à la Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, au Fond régional d’art contemporain d’Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, au Centro de Arte de Salamanca (CASA), Salamanque, Espagne, au Centre d’art de Neuchâtel, Suisse, et à Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, parmi beaucoup d’autres. En 1995, il a obtenu une bourse MOMART à la Tate Gallery et en 1997, il a été sélectionné pour le prix Jerwood. Il est professeur de peinture à l’École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, en France, depuis 2006.

Didier Semin

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Who Loves the Sun, Solander Gallery, Wellington

Born with a plastic spoon, knife and fork  in my mouth, Monteverita, Paris
Stories for Mexican ghosts and children of all ages, GE Galeria, Mexico

James Rielly, Flowers, Ghosts and Insects, A few short Stories, Galeria Herrero De Tejada, Madrid

Thinking things through, New Art Projects, London
We lived our lives in the spiritual not the material world, GE Galeria, Mexico
Knock on wood, Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich

Everything is something else. Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin
Ty Hyll, Cabinet des dessins, Jean Bonna, Beaux-Arts de Paris
Image on the edge, Galerie l’Inlassable, Paris

Ty Hyll- the ugly house, The Studio, Llandudno
James Rielly, Cabinet des dessins
Punch Me, La Box, Bourges
Ty Hyll, The Studio, Llandudno

When I was young I would sit in the bath and ideas would come to me, now I am old I sit in the bath, Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla

2012James Rielly, Galerie Wittenbrink, Munchen
Nothing and something, Galerie Charlotte Moser Galerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva

What wisdom , Ramis Barquet Gallery, New York

2010Spirits in the sky, Gallery Wittenbrink, Munich

James Rielly, I M Art Gallery, Seoul

Things that go bump in the day, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento
New Works on Paper, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Marlborough
Proposal for 200 little ideas, Galerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva

2006Tell Me a Story, Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York
Full of Possibilities 2, Galeria Ramis Barquet, Monterrey
Nipples, Galeria Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid

Life of Rielly, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

2004Outside Looking Out, Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York
Made in France, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris

Made in East London, Galeria Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid
Rex Irwin Fine Art, Sydney
Late and Early, a split-site installation at the Round Room, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh and Timothy Taylor Gallery, LondonMade in East London, Galeria Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid
James Rielly, Rex Irwin Fine Art, Sydney
Late and Early, a split-site installation at the Round Room, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

2002James Rielly, Centro de Arte de Salamanca (CASA), Salamanca (SP)
James Rielly, Fond Regional d’Art Contemporain Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand
London Ghosts and Party Animals, Galerie Voges & Partner, Frankfurt am Main
James Rielly, Studio D’Arte Raffaelli, Trento
James Rielly, Archimedes Staffolini Gallery, Nicosia

Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
Edward Mitterand Gallery, Geneva
Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York

Casual Influences, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, Wales

Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York

1998Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris
CAN, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel
Patrick de Brock Gallery, Knokke
Laurent Delaye Gallery, London

Sensible Ways, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes

Laurent Delaye Gallery, London

Laurent Delaye Gallery, London

1994Laurent Delaye Gallery, London

Berning and Daw Fine Art, London

Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich

Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich

Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

1988Alexander Roussos Gallery, London

1987Carlile Gallery, London

Carlile Gallery, London

Bayer Gallery, Provincetown
Hudson D. Walker, Provincetown

1984Hudson D. Walker, Provincetown

1983Artist in Residence, Art & Research Exchange Galley, Belfast

Selected Group Exhibitions

Paintings in Paintings, Monteverita, Paris
Le Mauvais Oeil, FRAC,  Clermont-Ferrand
Le Printemps de l’estampe, Bordeaux

MEL PUBLISHER – ESTAMPESHubery Breyne Gallery, Brussels

Quel Amour !?, [mac] musée d’art contemporain, Marseille

Gallery Artists. GE Galeria, Mexico City
Gallery Artists. Galeria Herrero De Tejada, Madrid
Round Colours, Monteverita, Paris
Microsalon 7, galerie l’inlassable, Paris

Utopie Pictural 3, Galerie Forma, Geneva
Galerie l’inlassable, Paris

Galerie l’inlassable, Paris

House of Helfa, Llandudno
Home, The Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
Donation Florence et Daniel Guerlain, Centre Pompidou, Paris

2013Friends and Family, Eva Hober galerie, Paris
Utopie Picturale, Ville Dutoit, Geneva
Galerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva
Galerie Nosbaum and Reding, Luxembourg

The Painter, the Draughtsman, the Dealer and their LoversVoges Gallery, Frankfurt am Main
Gallery Artists, Wittenbrink Gallery, Munich

2010Works on paper, Galerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva

Fate and Freewill, Cas, New York

Hope and Despair, curated by Bob Matthews, Cell Project Space, London
Philippe Cognee & James Rielly, Galerie Sollertis, Toulouse

El rey de la casa (King of the house), Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona
Paper Baglady and Other Stories, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

World-Gone-Mad, curated by Bob Matthews, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Limehouse Arts Foundation, London

XS, Galeria Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid
Spoilt Rotten, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown
(…) The duck was still alive, Abbaye Saint-Andre, Centre d’art contemporain, Meymac

2004Contre-Images, Carré d’Art, Nimes
Summertime in the City, Archimedes Staffolini Gallery, Athens

2003Outlook, curated by Christos Joachimedes, Benaki Museum, Athens (cat.).
Anthropography, Frissiras collection, The Frissiras Museum, Athens
Child in Time: views of contemporary artists on youth and adolescence, Gemeentemuseum Helmond
Childhood, CASA Centro de Arte de Salamanca
Telling Stories, Vedanta Gallery, Chicago
Il Grande Freddo, curated by Luca Beatrice, In Dres, Turin
Once Again, curated by Jane Harris in collaboration with Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (cat.).

2002Portraits, Edward Mitterand Gallery, Geneva
Intimacy, Russell-Coates Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth
Disturb, 1st Public School of Hydra, Hydra
La tête de l’emploi, organised by FRAC Auvergne, Centre Culturel Valery Larbaud
Fame and Promise, 14 Wharf Road, London

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Nikolai Fine Art, New York
Love You Always, Damasquine Gallery, Brussels
Strictly Painting II, Voges & Deisen Gallery, Frankfurt am Main

The Double, The Lowry Art Centre, Salford, Manchester
La Spiritualità Nell’ Arte’ Da Boccioni a Serrano, Santuario di Oropa, Biella
James Rielly, Sophie von Hellermann, Markus Vater, Pat O’Connor, Jeffrey Dennis, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
Drawings, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York
Y2K Fine Arts from the UK, Archemedes Staffolini Gallery, Nicosia

(Corps) Social, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
Arts Council Collection, Towner Art Gallery and Museum, Eastbourne
Growing Up Post Modern, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal
Fresh Paint, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow
British Portrait 1 – James Rielly, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento

Sorted, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
Tell Me a Story: Narration in Contemporary Painting and Photography, Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn (cat.)
Les Péchés Capitaux: La Gourmandise, Musée National d!Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Afternoon in the Park, Laurent Delaye Gallery, London
B.O.N. GO, Bricks and Kicks, Vienna
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
Pure Fantasy, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno
Men on Women, Oriel Gallery Theatre, Clwd

1996Galerie de la Tour, Amsterdam
Whitechapel Gallery Open, Delfina Studios Trust, London

1995John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 19, Liverpool
Making it: process and participation, Tate Gallery, Liverpool
Galerie Wittenbrinck, Munich

1994Gilmour Gallery, London
The Fete Worse than Death, Laurent Delaye Gallery, London

1993East, Norwich Gallery, Norwich

1992London Buddhist Centre, London

1991Britannia Works, London

Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

Carlile Gallery, London
Christopher Hull Gallery, London

1986Groucho Club, London
Recent Acquisitions Show, Art Association Gallery and Museum, Provincetown

Bayer Gallery, Provincetown
New Figurations, Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown

1984Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts
Art Association Gallery and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts

New Heritage – Welsh Arts Council, Oriel Gallery, Cardiff

Public Collections

Arts Council of England
Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain
Frissiras Collection, Athens
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Saatchi Collection, London
Sintra Museo de Arte Moderna
Tate Gallery, London
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
La Collection du FRAC d’Auvergne
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
CASA Salamanca
The Deutsche Bank Collection
Wurth Collection

Catalogues and Publications

Spirits in the sky, Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich

James Rielly: Things that go bump in the day, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento

Richer, Francesca, Rosenzweig, Matthew, eds. No 1: First Works by 362 Artists
Painting People, Charlotte Mullins, Thames and Hudson
James Rielly, Watercolours, essay by Martin Herbert. Timothy Taylor gallery, Galeria Ramis Barquet

Happy Birthday: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in the Deutsche Bank, James Rielly’Birdbox, 2003, colour illustrations, p.189.
Life of Rielly, essay by Marc Oivier Wahler, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

Contre-Images, essays by Régis Durand, Françoise Cohen and Daniel Buren, Carré d’Art, Nîmes

James Rielly, essay by Roy Exley, Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid
Outlook, curated by Christos Joachimedes, Benaki Museum, Athens

2002James Rielly, interview by Maite Lorés and essay by Dan Fox, Centro de Arte de Salamanca
James Rielly, essay by Jean-Charles Vergne, FRAC d’Auvergne

James Rielly, essay by Dan Fox, Timothy Taylor Gallery

James Rielly, essay by Emma Anderson, Oriel Mostyn Gallery
The Double, essays by Emma Anderson, Gilda Williams, The Lowry Art Centre
5,6,7,8,9,0 – CAN, essay by Marc Olivier Wahler, Centre d’Art Neuchatel
La Spiritualita nell!Arte Da Boccioni a Serrano, essay by Alberto Fiz
The Saatchi Gift to the Arts Council Collection, The Arts Council of England, London
James Rielly, Vergne, Jean-Charles (ed.), La Collection du FRAC d’Auvergne 1900-2000, FRAC d’Auvergne

1999(Corps) Social, L!Ensba, essay by Éric de Chassey Sorted, essay by Dave Freck, Ikon Gallery
Tell Me A Story, essay by Yves Aupetitallot, Le Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble
Cork, Richard, Young British Art: The Saatchi Decade, Booth-Clibborn Editions, London
A Companion Guide to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Sensation: Young British Artists from The Saatchi Collection(exhibition catalogue), texts by Brooks Adams, Norman Rosenthal, Richard Shone, Martin Maloney and Lisa Jardine, London: Thames and Hudson in association with the Royal Academy of Arts
Sensible Ways, essays by Stuart Morgan, Arielle Pélanc, La Salle Blanche, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Jerwood Painting Prize !97, text by Judith Bumpus, Jerwood Foundation