Hobson’s Choice – Jeff Keen at Kate MacGarry

15 March 2013 By
Jeff Keen, 2013, courtesy Kate MacGarry, London

9 March – 20 April 2013

27 Old Nichol Street, London, E2 7HR

Open Wednesday – Saturday 12.00 – 18.00 and by appointment

May I urge you all to go and see the new exhibition that has just opened at Kate MacGarry gallery, which provides the opportunity to become acquainted with one of the most significant – and underappreciated – British artist-filmmakers of the post-war period, Jeff Keen, who sadly died last year.  There isn’t adequate space in this short piece to cover the breadth of an extraordinary practice, ranging across drawings, collages, paintings and assemblages, as well as uniquely imaginative moving images works, which have outlived the various scenes in which they thrived, from Pop Art, ’60s counter-culture and punk.  Shaped by the dominant avant-garde trends of the ’40s and ’50s – Art Brut, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism and the CoBrA Group – as well as his experience of World War II, Keen began experimenting with film in the ’50s and was an early adopter of Pop Art, making works of immediate power and raw intensity on a range of film stocks.  Often incorporating found objects such as props and materials, comic strips and paintings, he worked with film, as well as performance, assemblage and painting, creating surreal worlds inhabited by comic book and B-movie characters as a co-founder of the influential London Film-makers Co-op in the ’60s.  Do not miss this show!

Image: Jeff Keen, 2013, courtesy Kate MacGarry, London.