It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that we report the death of William McKeown. Born in Tyrone, 1962 William died at home in Edinburgh on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.
"There are two types of art - open and closed. All closed art is negative and anti life. Art which is open accepts without judgement, is expanding, positive, and life enhancing." - (William McKeown, 2002)
In the 16 years since he first exhibited work at the Kerlin Gallery
, William McKeown developed a body of work that has had a radical and fundamental effect on our understanding of the age-old relationship of art to nature. The foundation of McKeown's work and life was his belief in the primacy of feeling. His paintings took on the guise of objective minimalism and the monochrome but presented us with so much more; nature as something real, tangible, all around us, to be touched and felt.
Through very subtle gradation of tone, a highly refined use of colour, and his enchanting, 'room' installations McKeown created moment of exquisite beauty and bliss. He steered our attention not to the distant sky but to the air around us, to the openness of nature, the feeling of our emergence into light and our proximity to the infinite.
William McKeown studied at Central/St Martin's School of Art & Design, London, Glasgow School of Art and the University of Ulster at Belfast. Exhibitions include a certain distance, endless light with Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 2010; an extensive solo show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2008; The 51st Venice Biennale, 2005; The Bright World, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2004; The Project Gallery, Dublin, 2004; The Sky Begins At Our Feet, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, 2002; In an open room, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 2001 and more recently 'The Waiting Room', Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, 2011.
We have lost a singular voice and a vital part of Kerlin Gallery but more than that a close and cherished friend. We wish to take this opportunity to extend our sincere sympathy to William's family and loved ones.