We cordially invite you to the exhibition opening on Saturday, 8th February at 11 a.m.
Music: Helmut Biehler-Wendt
Ian McKeever / Tony Cragg - Painting and Sculptures
8. February to 1. June 2020 > Lower Exhibition Hall
‘If only he could hold meaning in his hands he thought, if only meaning were that solid, had matter. Unlike thought which seemed so light, meaning had gravity, a sense of weight. Perhaps not easily measured, but nevertheless, a weight and a form, it was graspable. He imagined taking a thought, any thought, folding it as he would a piece of paper, compressing it until it became meaning. Then holding that meaning in his hand, feeling its concreteness, its measure. Afterwards then slowly unfolding it wide open again until meaning was no longer there, gone, and his earlier thought had reappeared. Or perhaps another thought, with which he could start the whole process of folding and unfolding all over again.’
Commenced in 2016 the Henge Paintings are still an ongoing series of paintings. It has been customary for McKeever to paint within a given group of paintings one or two predominantly black paintings. This, he identifies as being a need to feel that the ethereal quality of his ‘white’ paintings is sometimes pinned down more concretely. The Henge Paintings are the first series since the Diptychs(1983-1990) in which black has been the dominant colour. For the artist this use of black is neither emotionally dark nor sombre, a quality often associated with black. Instead the paintings suggest that black as a colour can also have its own sense of luminosity.
The title of the paintings refers to the two prehistoric sites of Standing Stones at Stonehenge and Avebury which are both located in the South West of England close to where the artist lives and works. Ian McKeever’s first solo exhibition was held in 1973 at the ICA, London. In 1989 he was awarded the prestigious DAAD scholarship in Berlin, which was followed in 1990 by a major retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. He has participated in numerous museums exhibitions including Dialogue, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1985, New Abstraction, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid and Museo d’Art Contemporarie, Barcelona, 1996, Royal Academicians in China, National Gallery, Beijing, Shanghai Art Museum and Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, Tate Britain, 2011 and National Museum of Norway, 2012. Solo museums exhibitions include Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 1987, Porin Taidemuseo, 1997, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, 2001, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2010, Sønderjylland Kunstmuseum, 2011, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, 2012 and Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne, 2014.
His work is represented in leading international public Collections, including Tate, British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Museum of Fine Art, 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.
In 2003 Ian McKeever was appointed a Royal Academician.