John Keane

Visual Arts

Born in Hertfordshire, in 1954, he went to Camberwell School of Art in the seventies, and after a brief career as a waiter and domestic cleaner has been working as an artist ever since.

His work has focused on many of the most pressing political questions of our age, and he came to national prominence in 1991 when he was appointed as official British war artist during the Gulf War. His work has always been deeply concerned with conflict - military, political and social - in Britain and around the world and his subjects have ranged from Northern Ireland to Nicaragua, and from the Middle East to the mass media.

More recent subject matter has addressed difficult topics relating to religiously inspired terrorism such as Guantanamo Bay, the Moscow theatre siege, and home-grown acts of violence against civilians. In recent years he has also become known for commissioned portraits of notable individuals such as Mo Mowlam, John Snow and Kofi Annan.

“I am from a family connected by both parents to Ireland, and spent some weeks in the summer of 1989 living in Belfast and learning as much as I could about the situation by meeting and talking with people on all sides of the conflict. The paintings I produced as a result of this were exhibited in London and Belfast under the title “The Other Cheek”.”

John Keane

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

1980 Peking, Moscow, Milton Keynes Minsky’s Gallery, London
1982 Some of it Works on Paper Centre 181, London
1984 War Efforts Pentonville Gallery, London
1985 Conspiracy Theories Angela Flowers Gallery, London
1985, Basel Art Fair, Switzerland
1986 Work Ethics Angela Flowers Gallery, London
1988 Bee-Keeping in the War Zone Angela Flowers Gallery, London
1988 Against the Wall, Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Greater Manchester
1988 The Accident commissioned painting and screenprint for Greenpeace,
1988 Flowers East, London
1989 Divided States Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York
1989 Forum Hamburg, Germany
1990 The Other Cheek? Flowers East, London, Arts Council Gallery, Belfast
1991 Cloth Caps and Hang Gliding Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
1991 London Before The War Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow
1992 Gulf Imperial War Museum, London; Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Tullie House, Carlisle; Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen
1992 Fairy Tales of London Lannon Cole Gallery, Chicago
1992 Burden of Paradise Flowers East at London Fields, London
1992 Not the Gulf Watermans Art Centre, London
1993 The Struggle for Control of the Television Station Flowers East, London;Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York
1993 Gulf Norton Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida
1994 The Struggle for Control of the Television Station Galerie Leuenberger, Zurich
1994 Five and a Half Years of Screenprints Flowers Graphics, London
1994 Fear of God Riverside Studios, London
1995 Works on Paper Flowers East at London Fields, London
1995 Graham Greene and the Jungle of Human Dilemma Flowers East at London Fields, Londo
1997 Truth, Lies & Super-8, Flowers East at London Fields, London
1997 John Keane Wellington College
1997 John Keane A Painter in Focus Wolverhampton Art Gallery
1997 Truth, Lies & Super-8: The Polyprints, Riverside Studios, London
1997 John Keane A Painter in Focus Ulster Museum, Belfast
1997 Conflicts of Interest Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1999 Trading Flaws and Sporting Mistakes Flowers West, Santa Monica
2000 Prints and Monoprints Flowers Graphics
2000 Making a Killing Flowers East at London Fields
2000 Gwenda Jay Addington Gallery, Chicago
2001 Saving the Bloody Planet Flowers East, London
2002 Saving the Bloody Planet Flowers West, Santa Monica
2002 Recent Events Flowers Central, London
2003 Events Galerie Behemot, Prague
2004 The Inconvenience of History London Institute Gallery, London;The Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast; Greenbelt Festival; Derby Museum and Art Gallery; Aberystwyth Arts Centre
2004 Back To Fundamentals Flowers East, London; Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
2006 Fifty Seven Hours in the House of Culture Flowers East, London.
2006 Andrei Sakharov Museum, Moscow
2006 Guantanamerica Flowers, New York
2008 Angola Flowers Central, London
2009 Intelligent Design (More Paintings About War and Religion), Flowers, London
2010-11 Photographs from the Gulf War 1991, Imperial War Museum North, Salford.
2012 Scratching the Surface/ Joining the Dots Flowers Gallery, Cork st, London
2013 Fear Flowers Gallery, Shoreditch ,London

Selected Group Shows:

1994 Reflections of Conflict by 16 British and Irish Artists, Wolverhampton Art gallery and Museums
2014 Art of the Troubles, Ulster Museum, Belfast

Selected Collections:

Aberdeen Art Gallery
Arthur Anderson & Co.
Arts and Museum Section of Cleveland County Library and Leisure Department
Belfast City Council
British Coal
Chase Manhattan Bank, NA
Christie’s Corporate Collection
Contemporary Art Society
Dain Rauscher Inc, USA
Detroit Institute of Fine Art, USA
Deutsche Bank
The Economist
The Financial Times
Glasgow Museums: Gallery of Modern Art
Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston
Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry
Hill Samuel Investment Services Group
Hull City Museums, Art Galleries and Archives
Leicestershire County Council
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Lloyds TSB
The National Army Museum
National Portrait Gallery
National Power
Paintings in Hospitals
The Open University
Queen’s University,Belfast
Rugby Museum
Trustees of the Imperial War Museum, London
Ulster Museum
United Nations
University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery
Warwick University

Selected Writings about John Keane:

“Conflicts of Interest” Mark Lawson (Mainstream Publishing)
“The Other Cheek” catalogue - David Lee (Flowerseast)