Irish ( b.1936 )
|Image size||11 inches x 8.5 inches ( 28cm x 21.5cm )|
|Frame size||15 inches x 12.4 inches ( 38cm x 31.5cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original drawing by John Kingerlee dated 1967.
The work is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary frame (which is shown in these photographs), mounted using conservation materials and behind glass.
John Kingerlee is a wonderfully unconventional Irish painter of both abstract and figurative work. He is particularly known for his expressionist Grid Reference works and Rub-Back works. He has few, if any, parallels in contemporary art
John was born on 14th February 1936, Valentine’s Day, in Birmingham. His mother was Irish and though he later lived in London he received a Catholic education at a school run by the Marist Fathers. He lived then for some twenty years in Cornwall, moving in 1992 to an isolated farmhouse in the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland. He is a convert to Islam and has a second family in Fez, Morocco.
For the last twenty years, he and his wife Mo have lived for long periods in virtual isolation, growing their own organic vegetables and John working from his studio, which practically hangs over the ocean.
Their lifestyle, like the work the John produces, is unconventional, harmonious and worthy. John finds inspiration in the wilderness and beauty of their surroundings and sees his engagement with nature as a multi-sensory experience. His output is diverse and prolific, and he has produced stunning art work in mixed media, drawings, collage and ceramics.
John Kingerlee had no formal training in art and did not start to paint until his thirties. Whilst he has drawn on many literary and artistic influences he has developed his own naïve expressionist style. He takes an original and radical approach to perspective. In his studio he uses his own made up pigments, using strong direct colours and often building paintings up in organic layers, like the crust of the earth in a process that might comprise a hundred or more layers and take several years. He typically uses a palette knife and a decorator’s brush for his larger paintings. He will have several pieces of work in progress at any one time.
The works of John Kingerlee have been exhibited extensively, from 1967 onwards, in numerous international locations including London, Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Texas, Beverly Hills, Florida, Beijing, Nashville, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York,
New York Times art critic William Zimmer gave a speech about the artist and his works at the Los Angeles exhibition in October 2006 in which he said; “With some disingenuousness Kingerlee has described himself as an outsider artist. No one this well travelled could qualify as one and yet there is some truth in his statement. He is operating outside the art world that grabs all the attention; that which is high on technology and resembles popular entertainment more than traditional art practices. John Kingerlee’s art is triumphant because it transcends all such props. It is based in an imagination sustained by enchantment, observed reality and superlative talent.”
Kingerlee’s “Grid Composition” was sold at Sotheby’s, New York in 2006 for a record £82,591.
Kingerlee’s work has been the subject of many academic reviews and critical appraisals, including the publication ‘The Whole Planet is a Garden, the genius of John Kingerlee” by Edmund P. Pilsbury
The works of Kingerlee are today found in many international collections and galleries including the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and the national gallery of Poland, the Ireland Fund and the collection of BP Ireland.
It has been said that his work literally fizzles with energy as if seen through the eyes of a child creating friendly innocent like beings, goblins and animals from a cosmic world. This seems to apply particularly well to the drawings offered here.
The two John Kingerlee drawings that we have in our collection are framed as a pair, but can be purchased separately. Rather touchingly, they are called John and Mo, and are – we think – absolutely exquisite.
This brilliant, almost comic self -portrait is stunning in its simplicity and character. It is at once sophisticated yet almost childish, even fantastical. It depicts a head and shoulders of a naked man, holding a single flower, perhaps a daisy in his left hand. He is gazing at the flower, and in the background the horizon is shown as a sketched line, and the sun as a large incomplete circle. His hair is wild and fuzzy, his ears pointed like a pixie and his chin is unshaven. The overall effect is naive, but quite magical.