(b.1973) in Birmingham, England. Lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.
“McKinley’s often large-scale views of seemingly idyllic natural settings are skilfully rendered in dazzling, intricate detail – we see, through an apparently impressionistic haze, lakes and forest glades, meadows and streams – yet only the titles and the smallest of scattered visual clues alert us to the actual urban context of these ostensibly bucolic vistas: this is ‘nature’ in its constructed, manicured, overtly cultural form. As such, therefore, McKinley’s ongoing effort to study these places (each seductive painting is the result of several months of technically testing labour, each drawing is a lesson in prolonged, patient attention to particulars) does not seem to be sustained by a Romantically-sourced passion for the ‘truth and beauty’ of the natural world. Despite the apparently resolved and reassuring appearance of these obviously picturesque scenes (crucially, they are almost too conventional), McKinley’s aim has been to develop what he is termed a ‘forensic’ mode of viewing: the work is in part, therefore, a reserved, distanced form of methodical painterly inquiry, an investigation into both the ordering and the observation of space.”
– Declan Long, After Nature, an extract from Paul McKinley, Farewell Chestnut Avenue, (2007)
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