One of the most fully realised of all Here Lies’ paintings, Premonition of War: Hard Construction has hung for years in Kieran’s home, directly opposite his usual chair. In other words, this is the painting that the artist looks at pretty much every evening, at the end of his working day. Accordingly it may be judged one of his personal favourites (if ‘favourite’ is actually the right term here), a single canvas embodying - as well as any single canvas can - Kieran’s aesthetic philosophy and deepest themes: the Human; the Sacred; and the conflict which accompanies them both.
The primary art historical reference evoked by this painting’s title is a well-known painting by Salvador Dali called Soft Construction With Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War), currently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It dates from 1936, only a few months before Spain was engulfed by Republican-Nationalist violence.
Kieran’s Premonition was begun in 1998 and finished by the following year. The rainbow arcs of density radiate from an epicentre a few inches from the bottom of the painting, and are modelled on the shock waves of an explosion type called an airburst. The artist gave it its present name at the time of its completion. It had originally been called Ground Zero, after the point marked by the roughly triangular fragment at bottom dead centre of the canvas.
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 140 x 203 cm