Charles Bank Gallery is proud to present Early Man and Missing Landscapes, a new solo exhibition by noted New York artist Kim Keever. The exhibition opens September 7 and continues through October 30.
Early Man and Missing Landscapes will feature 5 large imaginary landscape photographs and a new series of eroding forms representing primitive heads. In this body of work, Keever continues to explore the parameters of his singular, signature technique of photographing his subjects through the wall of a 200 gallon tank filled with water. Fabricated with ordinary everyday materials, He injects pigment into the water to create painterly, atmospheric effects.
Originally a thermal engineer, working primarily on NASA projects, Keever radically changed his career in the late 1970's and became a full time artist. Yet he has always drawn on his original vocation by retaining a scientific and investigative process in his work, while at the same time displaying an astute awareness of historical landscape art.
Relying on a purely analogue process at a time when digital technologies enable artists to produce entire works through the simple clicks of a mouse, Keever creates his other-worldly vignettes entirely by hand. Keever builds up entire worlds in large fish tanks with an inventive combination of hand-crafted plaster molds, found objects and pigments which are injected into the water at just the right moment to produce fantastical and yet eerily familiar landscapes. While he uses a digital darkroom to emphasize color and tone, the photographic content is entirely unaltered throughout the process.
At first glance Keever's works seem natural and real, yet at second glance they appear haunted and hyperbolic with their oversaturated clouds, unnatural perspectives and an advanced imitation of landscapes that may be possible, but are certainly not plausible. All of these images are indeed the creation of Keever's rich imagination and his incredibly skilled manipulation of his media.
Keever has recently experimented with a series of works called Eroded Man and Shell man, using sculptural busts with human-like features that slowly erode to become increasingly abstract. While these works emit a very direct feeling of time passing through the ages and not years, they also incorporate the sensibility found in his landscapes by balancing a sense of the ancient or distant with that of nature's often whimsical distortion of the familiar.
There are elements of Cindy Sherman's manipulated personas as well as Gregory Crewsdon's cinematic sets in the constructed landscapes by Keever as well as a sense of the awe-inspiring natural landscapes seen in the works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Galen Rowell. Keever's work also pays homage to the historical landscape painters of the Hudson River School and the landscapes of many of the 18th century Romanticists. While the majority of Keever's work consciously does not show any direct human traces, the images often transport us into his imagined, yet familiar world.
Kim Keever's work is in 4 museum exhibits this year. He is prominently featured in the continuing "Otherworldly" exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and has a solo exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. He will be included in the upcoming exhibit, "Deconstructing Nature" at the Hunterdon Art Museum in New Jersey and the exhibit, "25 American Artists" at the Gyeongnam Museum of Art in South Korea.
Keever exhibits at galleries in New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Washington D.C.. His work included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA and others.