Ian McKeever began his artistic practice in the late 1960s, executing landscape drawing and photographic works influenced by the writings of land artist Robert Smithson, and his own travels to Greenland, Papua New Guinea and Siberia. He began painting over his imagery by the 1980s, shifting his attention to emphasize gestural brushstrokes. Although McKeever had a growing interest in the figural and architectural, he eventually abandoned any sense of representation. Using different techniques to apply translucid layers of paint, McKeever went on to create beautiful lyrical abstractions on canvas. Increasing in scale, his paintings became more about their implicit light and suggestions of visual passageways to a space inside their surface. For McKeever, light is not something to be depicted per se, but rather conveyed through the inherent qualities of the medium, be they oil, acrylic or gouache.
McKeever has held several teaching positions and is the publisher of many texts and essays on the nature of painting. He has received numerous awards and was elected Royal Academician in 2003. His work has been exhibited widely at institutions of note, including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofía in Madrid; National Gallery in Beijing; Shanghai Art Museum; National Museum of Norway and Tate Britain, to name a few. McKeever’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Tate and the British Museum, London; Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest; Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.