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Ian McKeever – Henge Paintings (Paperback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Modern & Contemporary Art

Imprint: Anomie Publishing
Pages: 96
Illustrations: 43
ISBN: 9781910221419
Published: 1st July 2022



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With a career spanning more than five decades, Ian McKeever is one of Britain’s most senior artists working on the international stage. This publication documents the Henge paintings – a series started in 2017 and completed over the course of five years, inspired by prehistoric standing stones in the county of Wiltshire, England, and continuing the artist’s long-standing investigation into the languages and possibilities of abstract painting.Comprising thirty paintings along with numerous works on paper, the genesis of the series was a visit by McKeever to the world-famous neolithic site in the village of Avebury in 2016, where he took black and white photographs of the large stones that form three discrete circles: two smaller ones contained within the largest. Erected some 4500 years ago, Avebury is the largest stone circle in Britain, and forms part of what English Heritage asserts to be ‘a set of neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that seemingly formed a vast sacred landscape.’Art historian and curator Paul Moorhouse, in his essay commissioned for the publication, describes how McKeever ‘framed each megalith in close-up, their edges visible at the extremity of the resulting images,’ explaining how ‘the experience of moving around Avebury and responding to the huge stones’ monumental presence made an abiding impression that resonated with deep-seated preoccupations.’ McKeever’s resulting body of work is an earnest and considered exploration into how paint can convey universal forces and properties such as mass, gravity and time, and how colour, texture and abstraction can converse with three-dimensional space, form and materiality. The relationship between painting and sculpture in McKeever’s work is discussed by means of an in-conversation between the artist and Dr Jon Wood. ‘My interest in alluding to early megalithic sites in titling the group of paintings Henge paintings,’ says McKeever, ‘was in touching that deeper sense of time, time’s weight, so to speak. How to imbue a painting with its own weight of time, forsake the immediacy of the here and now.’Designed and produced by Tim Harvey, the publication has been printed by Narayana Press in Odder, Denmark. It is published by Anomie, London, with support from Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen, and Heather Gaudio Fine Art, New Canaan, Connecticut. The publication accompanies exhibitions of selected works from the Henge paintings at both galleries in 2022.Ian McKeever was born 1946, Withernsea, Yorkshire, UK. He lives and works in Hartgrove, Dorset. McKeever has received numerous awards including the prestigious DAAD scholarship in Berlin 1989/90 and was elected a Royal Academician in 2003. He has held several teaching positions including Guest Professor at the Städel Akademie der Kunst in Frankfurt, Senior Lecturer, Slade, University of London and Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton. He has also published many texts on painting.Recent public solo exhibitions include Ian McKeever / Tony Cragg – Painting and Sculpture, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal, Germany (2020); Paintings 1992–2018, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, UK (2018); Hours of Darkness, Hours of Light, Kunstmuseet i Tønder, Denmark (2015); Between Darkness and Light, National Gallery of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (2015); Hours of Darkness, Hours of Light, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Köln, Cologne, Germany (2014); and Hartgrove. Malerei und Fotografie, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany (2012). McKeever’s work is represented in leading international public collections, including Tate, British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna; Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Glyptotek, Copenhagen; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Boston Museum of Fine Art and Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut.

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