Richard Keen is an abstract visual artist based in Maine. From 1997-2003 he taught privately and in public schools. Since then, he has maintained a studio at Ft. Andross Mill in Brunswick and subsidizes his life as an artist by working as a diver.
Keen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where he received an art scholarship and double-majored in studio art and art therapy.
Keen graduated from Millikin in 1995. He then earned a Master of Arts from SUNY Albany and has been living in Maine since 1999.
He draws inspiration from Maine’s natural and man-made surroundings, including waterfronts, island shapes, and horizons, and he incorporates these into his work through distorted shapes and skewed perspectives. Completing several pieces at a time allows him to establish continuity in his works.
Richard creates paintings As well as large-scale public arts. His work appears in public and private collections internationally and he has been awarded multiple grants from various New England institutions. He exhibited at the Zillman Art Museum, Bangor, ME, Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth, ME, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, MA, and the Painting Center in NYC.
He has also created public art and received grants from the Maine Arts Commission, the University of Rhode Island, and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. His work was included in the United States "Art in Embassies Program” and has been reviewed in Art New England, Portland Press Herald, Maine Home and Design, Dispatch Magazine, Fresh Paint Magazine, HyperAllergic, and Studio Visit Magazine.
This exhibition will showcase a selection of paintings from Keen's "Form Singularity" body of work. The show will feature a series of small-format paintings mounted on a low-profile triangular rail that encircles the room. Visitors, who will be required to wear proper hand protection, will have the opportunity to move the paintings, altering their relationship with each other within the gallery space. This connection to the artwork will create a more engaging experience for viewers and eliminate the stigma of artwork being too valuable to touch. Additionally, the exhibition will include a curated grouping of dimensional wall sculptures and shaped panels, providing all visitors with a unique and immersive experience.
“My world as a commercial diver is filled with shapes and shadows; the arc of a hull, the slide of a rudder, and the way sunlight filters through the dark Maine waters. The underwater landscape is one of varying depth and altered distance. These lines, shapes, and planes re-emerge in the studio. I work on canvas, wood, and Styrofoam using oil, spray paint, tape, and epoxy - the materials of the working waterfronts that inspire the pieces, while the abstraction allows the viewer to create their own meaning within it.
I have three core series. My most abstract body of work, called “Form Singularity” uses painting and sculpture to reference seascapes and boat components like rudders, keels, and boat building designs in a more minimal and reductive approach to making art.
“Sea Geometry” paintings began after working as a diver in Casco Bay. They reference seascapes and use boat-building designs to segment the compositions.
“Abstracted Topographies” more clearly reference trees, landscapes, and coastal vistas around Maine. They are reflections on hikes I take with my family and dogs. I work regularly to unite abstraction and realism through art-making in an effort to frame a common language in everything that I create.”
- Richard Keen
To learn more about artist Richard Keen, please visit www.richardkeenstudio.com.
This program is supported in part by Queens Rising, a multi disciplinary arts celebration created to highlight the borough's culture and creative diversity.