A more recent iteration of the field painting concept, Thermodynamics of the Absolute experiments with a simple, cell-like motif stretched over a dark and pitted ground. As such, it is a rare instance of a Here Lies painting where the energy/nature reference is toward something outside the domain of physics. In the present case we apprehend the biological almost before we are conscious of it.
Absent is the more formal geometry of the other large pieces. Yet optically it has the same, slightly odd effect: that is, when gazed at steadily from a distance such that it fills one’s field of view, the physical, thing-like stability of the painted object begins to break down. Its fixed surface appears, if not to move exactly, then to be on the verge of movement, vibrating with the energy of a living thing.
Kieran calls this ‘humming’, and it manifests in almost all of his work. It is his way of meeting the painter’s age-old challenge - of taking something primordially inert and making it ‘come to life’ - even if only for a moment, at the edge of our vision. These effects are not dramatised purely for the eye, as they are in Op Art, but are more subtly tuned to the whole being of the viewer.
Even as we approach the painting to get a closer look, Kieran’s intricate mark making, and his often exquisite colour relationships, continue to charge this energetic field. The artist believes part of why we touch the painting is to stabilise it, as if absorbing some of its energy through our fingertips, and thus closing the circuit of the
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 198 x 146 cm