William McKeown was born in Tyrone, 1962, and was living and working in Edinburgh at the time of his death on October 25, 2011. In the 16 years since he first exhibited at 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 subtle gradation of tone, a highly refined use of color, and his enchanting, ‘room’ installations, McKeown created moments 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.
[text via Kerlin Gallery]
McKeown’s work has been exhibited internationally, and in 2005 he represented Northern Ireland in the 51st Venice Biennale.