Art War

Jeff Keen

Archive Exhibitions (18 September to 5 October 1997)
Jeff Keen’s ARTWAR programme continued with The Light and Darkness Show, an installation incorporating graphics, sound and video.
For ARTWAR read mental war
& Energy into Form
It’s Auto-Bio-Graphik
But not an Autobiography
Direct projection
& not an illustration

See the world drawn inside-out
& the Optic Ray turned upside down
As the abdicated trigger finger tracks down the Fastest Film
To where it hits the final edit
Of a comic-strip of Life
Printed on Semtex

The Adventure continues…

This was an exhibition of painting and objects within which a one-off performance/screening was held. The aim of the event was to provide a new perspective to Jeff’s existing work and create an opportunity to enjoy a retrospective of his unique style and talent.

About The Artist

Jeff Keen (1923–2012) was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. After being drafted into National Service during WWII, he studied for a short time at Chelsea School of Art and Design, after which he moved to Brighton (UK) where he lived and worked until his death.

Jeff Keen was an important contributor to the countercultural scene in Britain, participating in art ‘happenings’ and other events at the renowned ‘Better Books’ on Charing Cross Road, as well as co-founding the London Film-makers Co-op (now merged with London Video Arts to form LUX). In Keen’s films, innovative techniques of film construction and transmission – collage, animation, found footage, hand-altered film stock, multiple screen projections – that sought to expand cinema beyond its conventional limits are explored within the context of a diverse array of influences. These range from archetypal mythologies and the art historical movements of Surrealism and Romanticism to popular contemporary culture, particularly comic books and Hollywood B-movies. These innovations and influences also find their way into Keen’s boundary-pushing work in other media, from drawing, painting and assemblage to ground-breaking experiments in the development of sound as an artistic medium. A manic universe of creation and violent destruction, Keen’s art powerfully describes the frenetic, global world of post-war Western society.

Keen’s work has been the subject of two retrospectives: Shoot the Wrx, Artist and Filmmaker Jeff Keen at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery (UK) and Gazwrx: The Films of Jeff Keen at the BFI, Southbank, London (UK). A major installation, Gazapocalypse – Return to the Golden Age, took place in the Tanks at Tate Modern in September 2012. Selected exhibitions, screenings and performances include those at the Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Norway), Tate Britain (UK), Fabrica (UK), Better Books (UK), the Serpentine Gallery (UK), Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (UK), Viper Festival for International Film and Video (Switzerland) and London Film Festival (UK). Keen’s work is included in multiple private and public collections, including the British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection (UK), Face Press Collection (UK) and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (UK).

D85ce0 ad7dda131208465eb21c3017d5ab51a9mv2 png


Sign up for updates about events, news and special offers.