What the Critics say
Abstraction never seems quite satisfied with itself in John Kearney’s painting. It always struggles to resolve into other topologies, each image longing, it sometimes seems, to join the world of maps, satellite photography, urban landscape, microcosmic or architectural schematics. Sudden gusts & backdraughts of resemblance are always appearing unannounced, their passage disarranging the steady work of the images.
But always, one idea, one passing impression, is quickly replaced by another. The resulting turbulence, the images' habit of constant mutation, quickly becomes one of the canvases' central fascinations. The artist has consistently absented himself from final determination & in doing so, he has made ample space for viewers; leaving us to our own private games of hide & seek in the boisterous company of some delightfully fugitive image-making.
All Kearney’s images reveal hints of the same range of processes, of the same kinds of covering & revealing, of building, demolishing & salvaging. The range of rewards the painter & by extension his audience, receives from these processes is broad. But whether the pictorial skirmishes are finally corralled into a temporary peace, or worked into graphic urban geometry, the sense of open-hearted experimentation remains undisguised.