A rare opportunity to be fully immersed in the dynamic first two decades of a long and distinguished career, and a fascinating prism through which to view the years that followed; the continuous evolution of structure, scale, and intent, with an unwavering engagement and purpose.
The exhibition at HackelBury Fine Art brings together for the first time since McKeever's mid-career retrospective at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1990 works from the earliest phase of his career.
Highlighting the artist's transition from a dialogue with drawing, painting and photography to an engagement with pure painting; this movement at the same time mirrors the transition in the work from landscape to abstraction.
Since the birth of photography the 'death of painting' has been foreseen. Battle lines have been drawn not only against other media, photography has simultaneously fought for its own status as art. Within these conflicts the role of photography as an equal and active partner to painting and drawing could easily be overlooked.
In his early work, Ian McKeever left aside these arguments and utilised analogue photography to record and represent observed reality: harnessing the inherent tension between the different media he created a turbulent testbed for the subjective gestural expression of drawing and painting. Through his first two decades he continued to set one against the other with distinct but equal roles in his explorations, eventually allowing the various forces to merge and combine...
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