Edging Forward – Richard Keen
January 18 – May 4, 2019
Maine-based artist Richard Keen explores abstraction in both paintings and mixed media, wall-oriented sculptures. Keen states that “experiences are brought into focus by removing unnecessary detail, often simplifying the world into line, shape, color and texture.” In his paintings there are often predominant solid shapes, sometimes further accentuated by precisely painted pin-striped lines, that occupy other expanses of color. Imbued with order and clarity, the angular forms in Keen’s paintings seem to be derived from aerial views of the landscape. Dominant central shapes often have smaller lines that are like pathways or roads leading the eye off the picture plane.
Shapes that emerge in Keen’s paintings inform his wall sculptures—often incorporating surfaces created by sanding though successive layers of paint. Originally inspired by the undersides of boats being stripped of paint, Keen’s revelation of these layers of history is integral to his process. The quirky, enigmatic forms created by the artist integrate objects such discarded wood and other found materials. Using polyester resin, fillers and spray enamel, Keen brings together these contrasting surfaces within his singular compositions.
Richard Keen (American, born 1971) Form Singularity No. 133, 2018, Acrylic and oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist