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Two abstract pieces of artwork on canvases displayed in TheGallery at AUB.

TheGallery’s 25 Years exhibition showcase – Ian McKeever: Against Architecture

Curated by Violet M. McClean
3 November 2023 – 18 January 2024 | TheGallery, AUB Campus


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  • AUB Campus


TheGallery is proud to present the exhibition Ian McKeever: Against Architecture, a new configuration of the installation originally curated by Robin Klassnik (Matt's Gallery London) in 2017.

We're delighted to welcome Ian McKeever back to mark TheGallery’s 25 years, a huge milestone for TheGallery and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB).

Ian McKeever launched our text + work concept and programme in 2004, with his exhibition Four Quartet Series. He was made an AUB Honorary Fellow in 2002.

This exhibition and events programme has been brought to you in partnership with AUB's BA (Hons) Photography, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, BA (Hons) Events Management and MA Painting courses.

Exhibition overview

McKeever’s site-specific installation, originally shown at Matt’s Gallery, London in 2017, is presented in a newly envisaged installation specifically made for the Upper Gallery at AUB. Using standard building materials, 3 x 2 stud walling timbers and sheets of plasterboard, often with the manufacturers’ markings left exposed, the artist creates what might loosely be called a labyrinth through the gallery. Making the space a provisional structure of passageways, cul-de-sacs and multiple viewing points.

Onto these raw and often only half-closed walls, McKeever has placed a series of small photographic-painted panels. In doing so he sets up an interplay between the specifics of space depicted or implied in the photographic-painted works and the broader space within the quasi-architectural structure that supports them.

"The proposition in the title of the exhibition – Against Architecture – suggests both proximity to its noun and variants within it. A claim to pictoriality is challenged, as much by the atomised formal structures McKeever adopts in the works themselves, as by the makeshift structures he hangs them on. The installation is an exploration of how the fragility of pictorial illusion subsists amid a world of contingencies. In a contemporary visual culture, in which images come cheap, the effect is to re-establish our sense of them as fugitive, mysterious and hard-won."

Mark Prince

Known primarily as a painter, Ian McKeever presents in the Lower Gallery a monumental painting from the Henge Painting series (2017-23), together with works on paper and photogravures, drawing out some of the parallels and divergencies that have informed his longstanding engagement with painting and photography. Resonances and discords that are brought to the fore, when these two practices are aligned.

Meet the artist

Headshot for I McKeever

Ian McKeever

Artist and AUB Honorary Fellow

A piece of abstract artwork displayed on plasterboard and wood, with a cracked and aged concrete wall next to it. Text overlay on the wall reads "Ian McKeever Against Architecture".

Buy the book

Ian McKeever: Against Architecture

A publication documenting British artist Ian McKeever’s exhibitions Against Architecture at Matt’s Gallery, London (2017) and Against Architecture, Remodelled at TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth (2023–24). The exhibitions explored the relationships between McKeever’s photo/painted panels and the physical spaces in which they were presented.

Buy now

Ian McKeever: Against Architecture — formal opening and private view

Join us for the formal opening of Against Architecture with Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Gough.

Against Architecture: In conversation with Professor Paul Gough

As part of TheGallery's 25th Anniversary celebrations, join Professor Paul Gough in conversation with Ian McKeever...

Something to think about

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