McKeever commenced working as an artist in 1969 after studying English Literature. His first solo exhibition took place at the ICA, London in 1973. His early work as a painter grew out of a conceptual interest in landscape, painting and photography in which often a photographic element was juxtaposed with a drawing or overpainted.
However, around 1988 the work became significantly more engaged with painting per se. These later works have an emphasis on an abstract language which is concerned primarily with the human body and architectural structures. At the same time the quality of light and its presence in the painting became increasingly important. Often the works are monumental in format. Since 2007 he has reengaged with the photographic element in his work.
McKeever has received numerous awards including the prestigious DAAD scholarship in
Berlin 1989/ 90 and was elected a Royal Academician in 2003. He has held several teaching
positions including Guest Professor at the Städel Akademie der Kunst in Frankfurt, Senior
Lecturer, Slade, University of London and Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton. He
has also published many texts and essays primarily concerning the nature of painting.
Amongst his many museums exhibitions McKeever participated in Dialogue, Moderna
Museet, Stockholm, 1985, New Abstraction, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia,
Madrid and Museo d’Art Contemporarie, Barcelona, 1996, Royal Academicians in China,
National Gallery, Beijing, Shanghai Art Museum and Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005,
Tate Britain, 2011 and National Museum of Norway, 2012. McKeever has had numerous
solo exhibitions, including Kunstverein Braunschweig, 1987, Whitechapel Art Gallery,
London, 1990, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, 2001, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2010,
Sønderjylland Kunstmuseum, 2011, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, 2012 and Kunst-Station
Sankt Peter, Cologne, 2014.
McKeever’s work is represented in leading international public Collections, including Tate,
British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna;
Museum of Fine Art, Budapest; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Glyptotek,
Copenhagen; Museum of Contemporay Art, Helsinki; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Boston Museum of Fine Art and Yale Center for
British Art, Connecticut.
The video of this lecture can be viewed on YouTube.