Dreams of the World Order is an exhibition held at the Flowersgallery in Kingsland Road, London, until the 20 October. It shows early paintings that explore four areas of Michael Kidner’s technique. These include After Image, Stripe, Moiré and Wave. The artworks are predominantly from the 1960’s and are examples of Kidner’s experiments with optical effects.
The iconic paintings were discovered at his Hampstead Hill Gardens studio one year after his death in 2009. Some of those have never been displayed before this exhibition.
“From the early 60s I began to have a new sense of direction in my work. What I could not escape was a sense of unease linked with my perception that the discoveries of science have
undermined all the certainties associated with a belief in God. I felt that to confront this issue I needed to get a better understanding of the language of science. For me the use of systemic
procedures and of wave forms became a way of paddling along the shore of a personal sea of ignorance. At least I was getting my feet wet.” Kidner stated in the Wild Folly of my Youth, August 2009.
The artist’s examination of visual perception had its roots in the concept of linear perspective
developed by Leon Battista Alberti.
Kidner’s later artworks are aiming to disturb the viewer’s focus with a surface that seems to vibrate and pulsate. The brightness of colours has increased compared to his earlier works, but this wants to be in opposition to excitement.
Studies from Dreams of the World Order were shown at the Royal Academy of the Arts,
London in 2009, shortly before Kidner’s death in November.
Text by: Matilde Casaglia
Artworks by: Michael Kidner