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Field Series “B” Ian McKeever

Artist

Ian McKeever Withernsea, East Yorkshire, 1946 –

School
Culture
Date 1978
Object type painting
Medium, technique upper panel graphite and acrylic on paper lower panel acrylic on photograph
Dimensions

felső rész: 131 x 90 cm
alsó rész: 55.5 x 90 cm

Inventory number MO.91.36
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

The start and further course of McKeever’s career owe a lot to the writings of Robert Smithson published around 1970. All through his life he has been preoccupied by the “mineral appearance” of the landscape; not its visible structure but its physical and chemical construction. All ten pieces in his Field series made in various venues in Great Britain and France between January 1978 and March 1979 are diptychs of identical size. Roving the area, McKeever first made a large drawing, putting the paper on the ground or leaning it against a tree. The resulting works made with very loose references contained several frottage elements. Later, he continued to refine them in the studio. Then he cut out a fragment of the large drawing and placed it back into the landscape, and when after some time the forces of nature had left their mark on it, he took a photo of the changed drawing. The complete work finally contained the photo and the drawing elaborated in the studio, one displayed above the other.
When studying nature, McKeever is drawn mainly to the physical and chemical energies of the matter of the landscape. “Rather than saying that it is landscape that interests me I would say that it is activity that interests me, the activity of the landscape. I don’t have any metaphysical or spiritual concern with the landscape as such, all it is to me is an area containing modes of activity that I can work with. … My work is concerned with the juxtaposition of landscape and cultural activities such as drawing and photography. There is a dialogue going on between those activities, the activities of the landscape, my participation in the landscape and concerns in the studio.” (Detail from an interview, see Arnolfiny 1980). Each work carries the abstract features of the drawing and the physical imprint of the place. Eventually, the work is the documentation of the events that took place while drawing.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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