Peter Kinley 1926 - 1988


Catherine Kinley & Marco Livingstone, Peter Kinley, Lund Humphries, 2010, pl 27 illus colour full page


' The salient attributes of the largest of Kinley's paintings of single bodily figures in boldly demarcated interiors painted by him between 1962 and 1964 indicate an awareness - and a desire to take on the challenge - of the recent paintings of Francis Bacon, whom he knew personally. Bacon's Tate Gallery retrospective of May-July 1962, which confirmed his status as Britain's greatest living painter of the human figure, seems to have inspired Kinley not only to increase the dimensions of his canvases once again - so that his standing, walking and seated nudes are depicted almost at life-size - but also to situate each figure (always solitary) within a clearly articulated but unfussy domestic room. A Bacon painting such as Reclining Woman, 1961, (Just under 2m/6ft in height), which was included in the Tate retrospective and which had just entered the Tate's collection, provides a particular source of reference for such major canvases by Kinley as Walking Figure, 1962, Interior with Figure, 1962, Red Interior, 1962 and Seated Figure, Yellow and Green, 1962. There is a dialogue between them even in the 'sculptural' quality of the human form placed within the space. In that Bacon painting, the ambiguously gendered figure was cut out from an abandoned canvas and glued on to the surface of the newly painted interior, the physical edges of the figure endowing it with a pronounced corporeality at odds with the emphatic flatness of the painted surface. The pictures by Kinley do not engage with the agitated, expressive handling that animates Bacon's figures, but have their own - albeit calmer and more restrained - weight, mass and fleshiness
As in such paintings by Bacon as Turning Figure (1962), there is a frequent implication of Kinley's figures stepping through space or being caught in mid-movement. Again one must distinguish between the dynamism and violence with which Bacon rendered such motion and the stillness manifested by Kinley's female figures even when thay are purposefully striding forwards. These canvases by Kinley, which like Bacon draw the viewer into their compass, intensify their impact through the creation of densely painted zones of vivid colour that serve also to anchor each figure firmly in place.'
Extract from - Catherine Kinley and Marco Livingstone, Peter Kinley, Lund Humphries, London, 2010, pp26-28