Ian McKeever

Ian McKeever

Mystery to the Viewer

“I am trying to take the sense of speed out of the visual world of looking.” Interview with renowned British artist, Ian McKeever.

Slowing down in a world where “everything is changing all the time” is of the essence to McKeever, who never takes credit for finishing his paintings: “They finish themselves”, he says. A painting can easily sit for a couple of months to a year in the studio before it is once again taken out and recommenced. This sense of timeless flow, McKeever feels, seems to free the paintings from any specific moment or period in time.

Leaving room for the mystery to grow on the viewer by drawing them in only to push them back out again is also at the core of McKeever’s beautiful and suggestive paintings. The sense of mystery is what forms the attraction, and the obvious is of little interest, as he says: “I think there are enough tables and chairs and people in the world already, I don’t see why we all have to paint them as well.”

Ian McKeever (b.1946) is a British artist based in Dorset, England. He is a Visiting Professor in Painting at the Faculty of Art and Architecture at the University of Brighton. Between 2006-2011 he was Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy School of Arts, London. Among his solo exhibitions are ‘Hours of Darkness and Hours of Light’ and ‘Twelve-Standing and Three’.

Ian McKeever was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at Horsens Art Museum, Denmark in 2014.

Camera: Ole Udengaard
Edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Dan Graham

    Advice to the Young

    “Don’t make art as a career,” says award-winning American artist Dan Graham. “Because that means you’re just doing the same boring things that you reacted against in the beginning.”

  • JAJA Architects

    Park'n'Play

    24 meters above sea level, with a view of Copenhagen’s harbour, sits a bright red playground atop a car park – a building that transforms our understanding of public space. JAJA Architects guide you through the Swiss army knife of parking facilities.

  • Karin Mamma Andersson

    Advice to the Young

    “If you think Rubens is crap, then don’t bother with him.” Swedish artist Karin Mamma Andersson advises young painters to learn their art history: “Focus on what you find interesting, but immerse yourself in it.”

  • 8 Artists

    on Water

    Water covers 70 per cent of the earth’s surface. “It’s always the same and it’s never the same,” says Finnish artist Elina Brotherus. Hear her, Olafur Eliasson, Bill Viola, Marina Abramović and four other artists on the vital substance.

  • Siri Hustvedt

    A Person Apart

    According to bestselling author Siri Hustvedt, the election of Donald Trump marks a new split in the population of the US. Hear Hustvedt on her political awakening, the biases in contemporary society and writing in challenging times.

  • Jonathan Monk

    An Original Twist

    “I’m sure even the cavemen copied the drawings of the guys from the next village and changed them a little bit.” Hear British conceptual artist Jonathan Monk’s view on the idea of originality: “Just embrace that you’re not. Or twist it so you can be.”

  • Imbolo Mbue

    Everybody Has a Story

    “The challenges of being black and working-class in America – my characters didn’t understand that and I didn’t either.” Meet Imbolo Mbue, author of ‘Behold the Dreamers’ – a novel about dreams and struggles across race, class and gender.

  • Daniel Libeskind

    Tribute to New York

    “If you took the whole world and collapsed it into one little ball, you’d find it here, in this city.” Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect behind the new World Trade Center site, gives tribute to his city in this short and colourful video.

  • Terry Winters

    Unintended Things to Happen

    In a culture full of digital images and copies, painting is a “singular lens with the capacity to reflect an individual’s vision,” says American artist Terry Winters. Hear how he applies a “painterly approach” to his work with printmaking and drawing.

  • Nobuo Sekine

    Sensibility of a Rock

    “I create works with the perspective of admiration for nature. I believe that my job is to convey the richness of nature to viewers.” Japanese artist Nobuo Sekine’s sculptures defy gravity. Learn how he got the idea to elevate a rock – and make it fly.

  • Alan Hollinghurst

    The Secret Life of a Poem

    An inspiring conversation with the award-winning English novelist Alan Hollinghurst – noted for his novel ‘The Line of Beauty’ – about being a sort of puppet master to his characters and being characterized as “a gay writer.”

  • Gardar Eide Einarsson

    The Violence Under the Surface

    “I’ve lost the youthful naivety that leads me to think authorities should be torn down. I see it as an on-going negotiation.” Norwegian-born Gardar Eide Einarsson, who is now based in Tokyo, knows first-hand how different societies deal with authority.