In John Kingerlee’s paintings, the inspiration provided by the outside world is filtered through a process in which the physical qualities of paint, the balance of structure and chance, and the influence of art history all come together. The resulting paintings combine dynamic energy with quiet strength, turning landscapes and human figures into subtle patterns. William Zimmer, former art critic for The New York Times, was an enthusiastic admirer of those very qualities in Kingerlee’s work, both writing about his remarkable art and curating an exhibition of his paintings that travelled to several museums and universities from 2006 to 2010.
Often painting with oils that he prepares from raw pigments, Kingerlee is, in Zimmer’s view, a master colourist. His complex layering of paints left a lasting impression on a director of the Kimbell Art Museum, Dr. Ted Pillsbury, whose essay on Kingerlee, “The Whole Planet Is A Garden - The Genius Of John Kingerlee,” was published in his last book before his sudden passing. That meticulous process of construction has also impressed many collectors of his paintings including Larry Mullen of U2 and the great American Choral Master, Morten Lauridsen, who visited the artist last year in Ireland.
The eighty-one year old artist lives and works in Skibereen Ireland. A documentary film ten years in the making entitled “Beyond The Beyonds” (words penned by poet laureate, Seamus Heaney, on seeing his work for the first time) is scheduled for release this year, and a new book featuring his latest painted collage paintings by his biographer, Jon Benington, is near completion.