Peter Kinley 1926-1988

Peter Kinley was born Peter Nikolaus Arthur Eduard Schwarz into a cultured and artistic Viennese family on 16 July 1926 . His Austrian father, Arthur, a company auditor and later, the director of a private bank, had married Lydia Schroeder, who was German, in 1925. Arthur had served in the Austrian army in the First World War and had been a prisoner of the Russians in Siberian labour camp from 1915-20. Peter was the only child of a late marriage – both parents were in their late thirties when he was born.

In the 1920s and 1930s Schwarz senior worked in Germany and the family spent time in Berlin. They holidayed with German relatives in Heidelberg and Interlaken, and at Caputh, a quiet holiday retreat near Potsdam. A photograph taken there in 1932 shows Peter, sitting bolt upright in a pedal car in front of ‘ the Villa of Professor Einstein ‘ – he once also sat on the great man’s knee. In another photograph he poses with his father and uncle, the Austrian painter Fritz Schwarz-Waldegg, who was deported and murdered near Minsk in 1942. Other memories were of a spell in an isolation hospital recovering from scarlet fever, of seeing the great transatlantic liner, the Deutchland , in Hamburg harbour and of summer visits to Gross-Hansdorf , in those days an unspoiled North German village of thatched houses, unmade roads and grazing cows, where his aunt and uncle, an artist named Tonsfeldt, lived.

The race laws after 1933 made it impossible for Arthur Schwarz senior, who was Jewish by birth , to work in Germany and the family returned to Grinzing, a beautiful vinyarded suburb of Vienna, where Peter continued to flourish in what he described as the milieu of a typical middle classes Viennese child. It was, in his memory, a gently feral childhood – punctuated by swimming in the open air baths, scuffling with his friends and the much frequented ice cream shop, his ‘ icelokal’ ; there were also visits to museums with his father and to the well-known toyshop on the Graben, Josef Kober , to window-shop and family excursions into the Wienerwald on Sundays. In the meantime he went to the village school, acquired a local accent to the chagrin of his parents , drew and painted and foot pumped the organ in the village church , where he was expediently baptised in 1934. Raised on the German children’s classics Max und Moritz and Struwwelpeter, about the dreadful consequences of bad behaviour, he and some friends found a very old car and used surgical spirit from his mother’s medicine cabinet to drive it for a few explosive Their punishment is unrecorded . At the barber Peter read Wehrmacht magazines and longed to be a soldier. Meanwhile he took part in local festivals, and later, subversively, bent the bumpers of the tourist’s Horsch motor cars parked in the main square. There was a holiday trip to Hungary and afterwards, with his mother, to the Adriatic, where he loved the sailing boats with their latine sails, It was, he said, ‘ the last holiday.’ ... read more

Peter Kinley Paintings and Drawings

Untitled (house, hedge)

Peter Kinley: Untitled (house, hedge)


Peter Kinley: Landscape, 1957

Reclining Figure (Black & Pink)

Peter Kinley: Reclining Figure (Black & Pink), 1958

Study for figure with mirror

Peter Kinley: Study for figure with mirror, 1960

Seated Figure

Peter Kinley: Seated Figure, 1961

Study for Figure with Mirror & Easel

Peter Kinley: Study for Figure with Mirror & Easel, 1962

Walking Figure

Peter Kinley: Walking Figure, 1962

Standing Figure

Peter Kinley: Standing Figure, 1963

The Bed

Peter Kinley: The Bed, 1967

The Bed I

Peter Kinley: The Bed I, 1967

Figure with a wall of Paintings (Green)

Peter Kinley: Figure with a wall of Paintings (Green), 1968

Room with Carpet

Peter Kinley: Room with Carpet, 1968

Turning Figure

Peter Kinley: Turning Figure, 1968

Figure in Room

Peter Kinley: Figure in Room, 1969

Landscape with Clouds

Peter Kinley: Landscape with Clouds, 1969


Peter Kinley: Garden, 1973

The Turkey Carpet

Peter Kinley: The Turkey Carpet, 1974/1975


Peter Kinley: Cars, 1975


Peter Kinley: Compartment, 1976

Study for Acrobat

Peter Kinley: Study for Acrobat, 1978


Peter Kinley: Cow, 1979

Two Cows

Peter Kinley: Two Cows, 1980/1981

Two Cows

Peter Kinley: Two Cows, 1980/1981

Black Cow

Peter Kinley: Black Cow, 1981/1982

Seated Figure (i)

Peter Kinley: Seated Figure (i), c.1960

Standing Figure

Peter Kinley: Standing Figure, c.1962

Untitled (Abstract study of a seated figure)

Peter Kinley: Untitled (Abstract study of a seated figure), c.1962

Untitled (seated figure)

Peter Kinley: Untitled (seated figure), c.1962

Submarine II

Peter Kinley: Submarine II, c.1986-1987

Standing Figure

Peter Kinley: Standing Figure, c1967

Peter Kinley Sculpture

Green Room

Peter Kinley: Green Room, 1968