London, Kingsland Road

Kevin Sinnott

12 January - 26 February 2022


Flowers Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new and recent paintings by renowned Welsh artist Kevin Sinnott. The title of the exhibition, Liebestod (which translates from the German as 'love' and 'death') is also the title of a central monumental painting, Sinnott's largest and most ambitious work to date.

Sinnott describes the scale and theme of Liebestod as "operatic" in its exploration of the tragedy of human love, fusing a personal iconography with references to the legendary doomed lovers Tristan and Isolde. Several paintings in the exhibition feature a supine male figure held in the arms of a woman, recalling the art historical subject of the Pietà. This recurring theme can be seen in Strong Woman, and Fallen Man, and is inverted in Goddess of the Dawn, where an upturned figure is held by his boots, the rest of his body appearing nebulous in a flurry of gestural brushwork.

During 2020, Sinnott returned to sketchbooks kept across the past 30 years, to "quarry," as he states, "themes invented or discovered throughout my professional life." The paintings that Sinnott made in response to the sketchbooks contain familiar symbols, such as the mathematical equation within Geometry Lesson (with reference to Cezanne), and the mines and valleys of the Welsh countryside (for example, in Collier's Boy), often recalling and reimagining stories of local people. 

Sinnott's paintings are characterised by a strong sense of movement, with rhythmic relations between line and billowing passages of colour. The paintings often begin with an emphasis on composition and lyrical mark making, as seen in the dynamic configuration of opposing diagonal forces in the painting Pantygog, where the dramatic pitch of the town in the distance meets the vigorous counterpose of the central figures.

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