Catalogue entry

T03476 Fire 1982

Oil on canvas, 66 × 84 (1676 × 2134)
Inscribed ‘Fire 66 × 84 1982 P. Kinley’ on stretcher
Purchased from Knoedler Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Exh: Peter Kinley: Paintings 1956–1982, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, May–June 1982 (65)

Kinley worked on ‘Fire’ during the winter of 1981–2 while he was living in Wiltshire. The subject is essentially autobiographical; the artist watching his daughter kneeling to make up the fire. It marks a return to the theme of figure and interior which had interested him throughout the 1950s and 60s, during a period mainly preoccupied with the landscape and the depiction of animals.

Kinley stresses that the description of the particular and narrative content was not what interested him. Rather he was concerned with the transformation of personal observation and experience into an immediate yet lasting image. He was interested in the complex assymetry and rhythm of the kneeling figure and its formal, functional relationships. It is in the definition of these precise relationships that he seeks to convey the essential significance of the image. ‘I do not want my paintings to be read (from left to right as it were) but intend them to be seen.’

His working process is revealed by three studies (oil on paper, the artist) in which he makes changes to colour and line and introduces the rectangle of the ceiling at top right.

The above entry is based upon a discussion with Peter Kinley (3 March 1986) and has been approved by him.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986