A substantial series of abstract works inspired by the neolithic standing stones in Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
With a career spanning more than five decades, Ian McKeever is one of Britain’s most senior artists working on the international stage. This, his latest publication, documents the Henge paintings – a series started in 2017 and completed over five years, inspired by prehistoric standing stones in the county of Wiltshire, UK, and continuing the artist’s long-standing investigation into abstract painting.
Comprising thirty paintings along with numerous works on paper, the genesis of the series was a visit by McKeever to the world-famous neolithic site in the village of Avebury in 2016, where he took black and white photographs of the large stones that form three discrete circles. Art historian and curator Paul Moorhouse, in his essay for the publication, describes how McKeever ‘framed each megalith in close-up, their edges visible at the extremity of the resulting images,’ explaining how ‘the experience of moving around Avebury and responding to the huge stones’ monumental presence made an abiding impression that resonated with deep-seated preoccupations.’ McKeever’s resulting body of work is an earnest and considered exploration into how paint can convey universal forces and properties such as mass, gravity and time, and how colour, texture and abstraction can converse with three-dimensional space, form and materiality. The relationship between painting and sculpture in McKeever’s work is discussed further in a conversation between the artist and Dr Jon Wood.
Ian McKeever – Henge Paintings is published by Anomie, London, with support from Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen, and Heather Gaudio Fine Art, New Canaan, Connecticut. The publication accompanies exhibitions of selected works from the Henge paintings at both galleries in 2022.
Ian McKeever was born 1946, Withernsea, Yorkshire, UK. He lives and works in Hartgrove, Dorset. Recent public solo exhibitions include Ian McKeever / Tony Cragg – Painting and Sculpture, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal, Germany (2020); Paintings 1992–2018, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, UK (2018); Hours of Darkness, Hours of Light, Kunstmuseet i Tønder, Denmark (2015); Between Darkness and Light, National Gallery of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (2015); Hours of Darkness, Hours of Light, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Köln, Cologne, Germany (2014); and Hartgrove. Malerei und Fotografie, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany (2012).
96pp, softback, 285 × 244 mm, c.43 images
RRP: £25 / €30 / $33
UK release date: 14 July 2022
US release date: 18 August 2022
Texts by Ian McKeever, Paul Moorhouse and Jon Wood
Designed and produced by Tim Harvey
Published by Anomie Publishing, London
Images courtesy of the artist.
Painting documentation photography by Jonathan Bassett
© Copyright DACS / Ian McKeever