A small, graphic and quite beautiful arrangement of the whitest bone fragments across an oily dark ground, So Nothing exists in considerable tension with its own self-denying name. Like a lot of the other very small pieces, it can be thought of as a particularly personal meditation on life and its ups and downs - and correspondingly may be approached for an equally intimate insight into what makes a Here Lies painting work.
Equally it may be appreciated in formal terms. In its bare black-and-whiteness, it could be a drawing - and does indeed hark back to Kieran’s early fascination with ink on paper, especially a series of powerful graphics that the artist undertook as part of his initial research toward Here Lies. (These graphics are not part of the exhibition here.) However, So Nothing’s deepest formal kinship is surely with certain of Henri Matisse’s cut outs.
Over the long years of Here Lies’ development, a couple other small works related to this piece have been privately gifted by the artist to friends. So Nothing is one he long kept for himself.
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 25 x 20 cm