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William McKeown

Château La Coste presents an exhibition of paintings by William McKeown, curated by Jonathan Anderson and featuring a work by Kazunori Hamana. Evoking blissfulness and infinite openness through subtle tonal changes and a carefully measured scale, McKeown’s canvases act as windows into the world offering an escape from constraint. The show will place McKeown’s paintings in dialogue with both the soaring structure of the Richard Rogers Drawing Gallery, in which the exhibition will be held, and Hamana’s ceramic reflection on nature and introspection.

Born in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and living and working in Edinburgh at the time of his death in 2011, William McKeown made paintings, drawings, prints and installations that captured the openness and transcendent power of nature. Guided by a belief in the primacy of feeling, his paintings took on the guise of objective minimalism and the monochrome, but presented the viewer with so much more: nature as something real, tangible, all around us, to be touched and felt. Each painting is slightly off-square, undermining the perfection of geometry, and scaled roughly to the size of the human chest, as if mirroring the capacity of our lungs to breathe in air. His works act as windows onto the world – an escape from the repression and mundanity of everyday life and into the lightness and expansiveness of the sky, using subtle gradations of tone to create moments of exquisite beauty and bliss. Frequently using titles such as ‘Hope’, McKeown steered our attention to the air around us, capturing the feeling of our emergence into light and reminding us of our proximity to the infinite.

McKeown’s paintings are accompanied by a work by Japanese ceramicist Kazunori Hamana. Drawing upon ancient traditions of ceramics in Japan while cultivating new, inventive techniques in shaping, glazing, colouring and firing, Hamana makes large and delicate vessels out of natural clay sourced from Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Inspired by traditional Japanese tsubo, functional clay jars dating back to prehistoric times, he creates each sculpture by hand, making use of improvisation and experimentation. Hamana is guided by his awareness of impermanence and the transience of earthly things, and a deep philosophical interest in how the universe functions on micro and macro levels. 

The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of LOEWE and JW Anderson who has been a long-time admirer of the work of William McKeown and Kazunori Hamana. An active supporter of the arts, in 2016 Anderson founded the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize, the world's first international award for contemporary craft and in 2017 curated a major exhibition Disobedient Bodies exploring the human form across art, fashion and design at The Hepworth Wakefield. Anderson has also initiated a series of important collaborations with artists, including most recently Anthea Hamilton, to stage his collections. The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of LOEWE and JW Anderson who has been a long-time admirer of the work of William McKeown and Kazunori Hamana. An active supporter of the arts, in 2016 Anderson founded the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize, the world's first international award for contemporary craft and in 2017 curated a major exhibition Disobedient Bodies exploring the human form across art, fashion and design at The Hepworth Wakefield. Anderson has also initiated a series of important collaborations with artists, including most recently Anthea Hamilton, to stage his collections. 

Housed in Château la Coste’s new Drawing Gallery, the final building by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers, McKeown and Hamana’s works enter into a dialogue with their magnificent setting. The 120-square-metre gallery is almost entirely suspended off the ground, cantilevering 27 metres over the hillside. The gallery contains a full-height window looking out over Château La Coste’s provençal countryside setting and opening up onto the sky – beautifully reflecting the airiness, openness and expansiveness of McKeown’s paintings, and the meditative nature of Hamana’s ceramics.

 

Notes to Editors

For further press information, please contact Rees & Co:
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The exhibition runs from 12 March – 1 May 2022 at Richard Rogers Gallery, Château La Coste

For more information about Château La Coste please visit www.chateau-la-coste.com or contact contact@cheateau-la-coste.com 

 

About Jonathan Anderson

A designer with a curatorial approach to fashion making and brand building, Jonathan Anderson earned both critical acclaim and commercial success with the collections he designs as the creative director of LOEWE and for his eponymous label, JW Anderson. An alumnus of London College of Fashion, Anderson debuted in menswear in 2008. In 2010, he expanded JW Anderson adding womenswear and in 2013 he was named the creative director of LOEWE, which he turned into a cultural brand with a prismatic identity weaving a vibrant interest for craft with a cerebral yet playful approach to design, playing up nods to Spain with hints of abstraction.

The first fashion designer to be awarded, in 2015, both Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council, Anderson has created collections and products collaborating with brands such as Converse, Moncler, Topshop and Uniqlo. He is an active supporter of craft: in 2016 he founded the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize, the world's first international award for contemporary craft and in 2017 he curated Disobedient Bodies, an exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield in Wakefield. In 2019, the Prime Minister of Britain appointed Jonathan Anderson to the Trustees to the Board of the V&A, one of the world’s leading museums or art and design. 

Images

William McKeown
William McKeown
William McKeown, Untitled (2009 - 2011)

William McKeown

Untitled (2009 - 2011)

oil on linen

48 x 48 cm

18.9 x 18.9 in