The Crescent is delighted to present a new exhibition featuring recent paintings and prints by 81 year old International renowned artist, John Kingerlee.
The exhibition will feature work from the past three years and includes Grids, Landscapes, Heads and prints. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be his very latest work titled SRIK paintings.
Professor Mike Catto who is an authority of Kingerlee’s work will open the exhibition on Thursday 11th January at 6pm.
A new book on the SRIK paintings, by Jonathan Benington, will be published in 2018. Benington writes "Like all great contemporary artists John Kingerlee has evolved his own distinctive handwriting. A visual language that is instantly recognisable as his and nobody else's. This is abundantly evident in his SRIKS series,with its multimedia mix of drawing ,painting and stuck down fragments of printed paper. At the hands of a lesser artist this could be easily a recipe of something incoherent or meaningless, but not so Kingerlee - his marks and gestures stem from 60 years experience and constitute his repertory, in the same way that the melodic phrasing and rhythm of a great piece of music."
The great American composer, Morten Lauridsen, is a great champion of the artist and compares John's paintings to his own music. 'I build Layers of notes and John builds layers of paint '
The SRIKS are absorbing and housing a lifetime's random collection of memorabilia. Old notes, old letters, old drawings etc which I carried for years, all passing out of my life and into the world of paintings. Kingerlee, the most remarkable environmental artist in the world is serving us a Universal message against global warming. He is by example, humbly and reverentially grateful for this source of inspiration. But ultimately it is us who should thank him for choosing to share it with us.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a premiere of new film on the life and work of the artist titled "Beyond The Beyonds ", words penned by the great Seamus Heaney on viewing Kingerlee’s paintings for the first time. The film has recently won two major merit awards in California. The film will show on Thursday 18th January at 7.30pm and we are delighted to welcome Ros Drinkwater, who wrote the script will join us.
John Kingerlee was born in Birmingham in 1936. The family moved to London in his early years where his father managed a gentleman 's poker club.
As a student he attended a boarding school in Exeter and was drawn to modern literature and considered becoming a writer. Instead he turned to visual art and started painting in 1962.
His early representational paintings were influenced by Surrealism, especially the work of Dalí. He also acknowledges an affinity to Kurt Schwitters, the Dada master of collage, Braque and Picasso (the co-originators of Cubism), Paul Klee and Asger Jorn of the COBRA group. Amongst the Americans, he hold Pollock and de Kooning in high regard, although Rauschenberg's use of collage in his work combines is second to none.
In 1982 Kingerleee moved with his wife to the wild and remote Beara Peninsula in the West Cork area of Ireland. The West of Ireland's wind-swept, elemental landscape of rock, sky and water has had a deep effect on his work, and his painting captures its essence in near abstract form. Kingerlee works slowly on his paintings, building them up in layers over a period of months and years. He has also produce collages, which involve found printed matter and drawing, and figurative paintings including an ongoing series of heads.
His abstract grid paintings reflect both the walls of Fez and an acute sense of the power that resonates from a site such as the mound of Tara in County Meath, Ireland, reputed to have been the seat of the High King of Ireland. Some critics describe the grids as pneumas, from the ancient Greek word for breath or, when used in a religious context, spirit or soul.
With the advent of the new Millennium, Kingerlee’s art has been reaching new audiences and it has begun to attract much wider recognition.
The last 10 years of his life and work have been the subject of a television documentary and two critical volumes with texts by William Zimmer, Ted Pillsbury and Jonathan Benington, among others.
An 80th birthday retrospective of his work was staged by Oriel Centre Dundalk Goal last year. Prior to that, a US touring exhibition of his work travelled to 16 different venues.