Supporting the work of the Royal Academy of Arts
8 September—24 October 2010
Exhibitions - In the Weston Rooms
The Royal Academy is unique in having contemporary artists - the Royal Academicians - at its core. This autumn sees the inception of a programme of exhibitions by Academicians which will give them the opportunity to take risks and explore new ideas. It will also be a chance for the public to experience less familiar aspects of Academicians’ work, while revealing the diversity of artistic practice across the Membership.
L-R: Ian McKeever RA, 'Hartgrove', 2009. Photograph, 1/1 + 1 artist print, 21.7 x 17 cm. Ian McKeever RA, 'Hartgrove Painting No.10', 1993-1994. Oil and acrylic on cotton-duck, 250 x 265 cm. Courtesy Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen. Both images © Ian McKeever
The first exhibition in this series will bring together two very different groups of work by Ian McKeever RA; five large paintings titled Hartgrove Paintings made between 1992 and 1994 and an ongoing series of around 40 small black and white photographs made from 2007 onwards. What links these groups of works is that both were executed as a response to the artist living and working in Hartgrove, a cluster of farms in Dorset.
The large paintings from a group of nine were begun shortly after McKeever’s move to Dorset from London. Although not landscapes, they reflect something of the expansiveness and openness the artist felt after leaving London to live in the countryside for the first time since childhood. The primary focus of the paintings is on a sense of emerging presence and light; they are built up of thin layers of loose bands of transparent paint suggesting a veiled surface and inner depth.
In contrast, the photographs are modest in size, their subject matter being specific objects and incidents of light observed in the intimate, familiar space of McKeever’s home - a reflection, a shadow, or the tilt of a stack of crockery. These fleeting moments – never constructed – give the photographs a very different sense of time compared with the long, slow process of making a painting. However, what both the paintings and photographs have in common is a concern with light and the possibility of seeing anew.
These photographs have remained in the artist’s studio until being shown in Copenhagen early in 2010. This will be the first time that they have been exhibited in the UK.
Admission: Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket. £3 without an exhibition ticket (book online here)
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