16 March - 20 April 2000

Ian McKeever

Paintings and Works on Paper

Following the enormous success of Ian McKeever's last exhibition of woodcut monoprints, which were purchases by several museum collections including the Tate Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Alan Cristea Gallery will be showing a new series of paintings, watercolours and prints.

There is no doubt that McKeever's work can be compared to that of abstract artists such as Barnet Newman and Mark Rothko and also figurative artists such as William Blake and Edvard Munch, all of whom were interested in the 'human condition'. There is equally no doubt that, as Jill Lloyd suggests in her introduction to the exhibition catalogue, McKeever has always walked a highly individual path within the context of contemporary art.

The paintings, which at first sight are hauntingly beautiful images, require the viewer to contemplate and become absorbed. Only then can he or she fully recognise the sense of space and light and the lurking human presence that emanates from them. In both the Assumptio and the Sea of Space and Time paintings, McKeever overlays ribbons of paint to create a formidable sense of depth. In each case the colour and the forms work in a space that lies between the figurative and the abstract.

These new paintings show a renewed interest in colour, a factor the artist partly attributes to his printmaking over the last two years. We have purposely chosen to juxtapose paintings, watercolours and prints in order to demonstrate the importance of these different media, and to show how each feeds off the other, to fulfil the artist's personal vision.

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