James Quinn
Irish Painter Specializing in Technology Art, Using Acrylics, PCBs and Digital Imagery, and Abstract Paintings.


For late 20th century paintings,
see: Contemporary Art.

James Quinn (b.1963)

Very occasionally, one encounters an artist whose works are so visually striking and so innovative that it's hard to understand why he isn't more of a celebrity. James Quinn is just such a person. His series of abstract paintings done in acrylics are a complete visual experience, not only in terms of their design, depth and 'plasticity', but also for their sympathetic colour schemes. Simple perhaps, but as Einstein said, simplicity is the essence of creativity. However, Quinn's real contribution to Irish art over the past 12 years has been his mixed-media 'technology' painting, in which he incorporates Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs (the ultimate hi-tech icons) into his compositions, in order to reference the revolutionary effect of computers on our daily lives. I'm not sure what his standing is with the Irish art establishment, but in the wider world his unique digital art has been acclaimed by corporations and private collectors across the globe.

For other modernists based in Ireland, see: Contemporary Irish Artists.
For the world's leading figures, see: Top 200 Contemporary Artists.

Art Works

'Cooler Concept', Acrylic on
Irregular Canvas Panel, 2004.
Abstract Series.

'Cells II', Acrylic on Canvas Panel,
2007. Abstract Series.

For a list of the leading Irish
painters, including exponents of
subject painting, see:
Best Irish Artists.

Quinn studied at the College of Marketing and Design, Dublin, where he majored in sculpture, before starting a 10-year stint in IT. As a painter he is self-taught, and his style has developed incrementally, stage by stage. Beginning with acrylics on canvas, he has gradually extended his range to include mixed media, including digital imagery, PCBs, newsprint and other oddments, as well as irregular/curved board for his recent series of abstracts.

His two main interests are technology and abstract art (executed in acrylics), although he also produces Jazz compositions in oils, together with a few Surrealist works.

Quinn's PCB art has evolved in stages. Initially he used PCBs purely as a background canvas for his figures, before switching to backing boards upon which he now layers materials (PCBs and other media) and paint, to create more complex works displaying greater contrasts of texture and shape.


Quinn's abstract work evolved to satisfy his need for a parallel art form, in which he could escape the constraints of size and format dictated by the PCB’s, and more fully explore the possibilities of colour and shape. Initially confining himself to more geometric compositions, he has since developed a range of organic shapes executed on curved canvas panels.

To maintain maximum control of the creative process, he makes all his own canvases and customised frames in his studio-workshop.

Quinn emphasises that both of his major art forms continue to evolve and develop, a process which is very much in tune with his experience and practice as a self-taught artist. And in his exploration of new ideas, the figure continues to be an important vehicle, not least because of his original training as a sculptor.

In addition to his numerous commissions for worldwide corporations in the IT area, Quinn has shown his work in a variety of solo exhibitions in Ireland and abroad.

Solo shows have included: 'Departures' at the Red Stables, Dublin (may 2008); 'Evolution' at The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford (Sept 2005); 'Tripartite' at The Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Dublin (April 2003); a solo exhibition hosted by Multiflex in Dublin (Nov 2001); a solo show of PCB paintings at Navision, Copenhagen (August 2000); 'Gemini' at the Daffodil Gallery, Skerries, Co. Dublin (June 2000) opened by Ken Doherty (1997 World Snooker Champion) one of his clients; and 'Millennium' at Gallery 44, Cork (Jan 2000). In addition, his works have been shown in a number of group exhibitions throughout Ireland and the UK.

A selection of his paintings can be seen at Holst Galeria de Arte, San Lorenzo 7, 28004 Madrid, The Lavit Gallery, Cork, and Bold Art Gallery Galway, and (most Sundays) at the Merrion Square Open Air Exhibition, Dublin.

Quinn's numerous awards include: Winner, Certificate of Merit: 'Best Imaginative Composition', at the RDS Calor Gas Exhibition 1995; Winner, Certificate of Merit: 'Best Figurative Composition' at the RDS Calor Gas Exhibition 1996; he was accepted as a full member of AAI (Association of Artists in Ireland) in 1995.

Our Opinion

An outstandingly innovative artist, already much in demand, but with huge potential still to come. He is a genuine visionary.

To contact James Quinn, or to see larger and better examples of his art, visit his website www.QuinnArt.com, or see him (most Sundays) at the Merrion Square Open Air Exhibition, Dublin.

• For more about art in Ireland, see Irish Painting and Irish Sculpture.
• For more about contemporary artists in Ireland, see: Homepage.
• For details of famous painters and sculptors from Ireland, see Irish Artists.

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