Lot 88 - Rita Keegan - School Steps
Collage - Original Copy-art paper on moriki paper on watercolour paper
Signed on Verso
This auction is raising proceeds for War Child UK
Rita Keegan (born 1949) is an American-born artist, lecturer and archivist, based in London since the late 1970s. She is a multi-media artist whose work uses video and digital technologies. Keegan is best known for her involvement with in the UK's Black Arts Movement in the 1980s and her work documenting artists of colour in Britain.
Today, Keegans’ work can be found in the Tate Collection, the National Art Collection and other institutions.
Keegan originally trained as a painter but in the 1980s began to incorporate lens-based media, using the photocopier and computer in both 2D and installation work. In 1984 she worked at "Community CopyArt" in London. Keegan was a founding member of the artists' collectives, Brixton Art Gallery in 1982, and later Women's Work and Black Women in View. She went on to co-curate Mirror Reflecting Darkly, Brixton Art Gallery's first exhibition by the Black Women Artists collective. From 1985 Keegan was a staff member at the Women Artists Slide Library (WASL), where she established and managed the Women Artists of Colour Index (WOCI). She was Director of the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive (AAVAA), from 1992 to 1994. In 2021 she had a solo exhibition Somewhere Between There and Here, at the South London Gallery
Keegan taught New Media and Digital Diversity at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she also helped establish the digital-media undergraduate course in the Historical and Cultural Studies department.
Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute (1969-1972)
2022: Honorary Fellowship, Goldsmiths, University of London
2022: Recipient of, the Ada Award for Love Sex and Romance (1986-88)
2023: Women in Revolt!: Art, Activism in the Women’s movement in the U.K 1970-1990,
Curated by Linsey Young, Tate Britain, London (Group)
2022: Citational Choices, La Trobe Art Institute, curated by Isabelle Sully, (Bendigo) Australia
2022: Frieze London 2022
2021: Summer Exhibition 2021, Royal Academy of Arts, co-ordinated by Yinka Shonibare, London
2021: Somewhere Between There and Here, South London Gallery, London
2006: Transformations, Lewisham Arthouse and Horniman Museum
1997: Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean rtists in Britain, 1966-1996, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Caribbean Cultural Center, New York
1995: Time Machine: Ancient Egypt and Contemporary Art, InIVA and British Museum, London
1993: Rites of Passage, ICA, London (solo)
1992: Trophies of Empire, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Bluecoat, Liverpool curated by Keith Piper
1990: Let the Canvas Come to Life with Dark Faces, Bluecoat
Statement about AOAP Submitted Artwork
I was working with the theme of the 'war child', in my mind. The charity made me think of my own childhood and how lucky I was not to be brought up in war torn conditions, so I decided to use photographs from my childhood. 'Backyard' The image of three boys, has my brother in the centre of the picture, in the backyard of our home in the Bronx. 'School Steps' The image of the little girls sitting on the steps of my elementary school in the early 60's, in the south Bronx. The occasion was a dolls fashion show and you can just see me sitting at the corner. 'Grandmother's Garden' The image of the little boy and girl, is of my brother and I. My brother was a year older than me and we were at my grandmother's house in Collingwood. 'Oceans Gifts' The image of the boy coming out of the shell is from a photograph of my brother as a baby, taken in Montreal Canada, where my parents had met. I have created these art works, using some of my remaining original 'CopyArt' images from the 1980's and 90's. Reproduced photographs, generated using photocopy techniques and different toners on coloured paper. I've then added both Moriki paper and a few images from contemporary magazines. I enjoyed working on this scale. You have to really concentrate as there's an added intensity when working on a postcard size image.
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