Born 1946, Withernsea, England, Ian McKeever’s early work as a painter grew out of a conceptual interest in landscape, painting and photography, often juxtaposing a photographic element with a drawing or over-painting the photograph. However, around the late 1980s the work became significantly more engaged with painting. These later works have an emphasis on an abstract language that is concerned primarily with the human body and architectural structures. At the same time, the artist is acutely attentive to the quality of light and its presence in the painting. Often the works are monumental in format. Since 2007 he has re-engaged with the photographic element in his work.
In 1989 McKeever was given the prestigious DAAD scholarship to live and work in Berlin. This was followed in 1990 by a major retrospective exhibition of his work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Since 1971 he has exhibited extensively including major exhibitions at the Kunstverein Braunschweig in 1987, the Porin Taidemuseo in 1997, the Kunsthallen Brandts Klaederfabrik, Odense in 2001 and 2007, the Morat Institute, Freiburg in 2005 and 2007, the New Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen in 2006, the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2010, the Sønderjyllands Kunstmuseet in 2011 and the Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat Bottrop in 2012. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Dialogue Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 1985 , New Abstraction at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid and Museo d’Art Contemporarie, Barcelona in 1996, Royal Academicians in China at the National Art Gallery in Beijing, the Shanghai Art Museum and The Royal Academy, London in 2005/06, Tate Britain in 2011 and The National Museum of Norway, Oslo in 2012.
Ian McKeever’s first contact with professional artists was in 1969, when he rented a studio from SPACE, an artists’ collective working at St. Katherine’s Dock, in the heart of London’s dockland. His first exhibition was in 1971 when he was invited to participate in an exhibition of SPACE artists in Berlin. Through this contact he began lecturing at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Since then he has taught extensively in Great Britain, Germany and the USA. 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. In 2003 he was elected a Royal Academician. He has also published many texts and essays primarily concerning the nature of painting.
Ian McKeever lives and works in Dorset, England.