Philip Van Keuren
Philip Van Keuren has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally since 1972. He was a fellow at The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, N.H., in 1978, and again in 2009, when he received the 2009-10 Patricia and Jerre Mangione Fellowship, awarded to distinguished artists and writers who have worked for at least 30 years. He received his B.F.A. (1974) and M.F.A. (1977) from Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. Van Keuren is a 1975 fellow of the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York.
Van Keuren began to use the camera sparingly to document places and things as early as 1975. Since 1992 he has worked primarily with photography, making single images as well as diptychs and book formats. While each individual image produced during the last 25 years was titled for what it is – Window, Path, Buttress, Allee, Tapestry, Archway, etc. – the entire body of work is titled Toward What Sun? The title phrase is from a Rilke French poem and suggests the narrative and visual possibilities inherent in our mortality. The entire body of images is considered one work of art, ending only with Van Keuren’s death, much as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, first published as a pamphlet containing 12 poems, grew to encompass hundreds of poems under the same title.
In recent years many of Van Keuren’s negatives have been made into copper plate photogravures. A number of these gravures have been widely viewed both nationally and internationally (Reykjavik, Iceland), most recently in the exhibition Idols and Impossible Structures: New Prints 2017/Winter, International Print Center New York: IPCNY, New York. Ten of these gravures were printed in editions of 12 in 2016. Five of these editions were set aside in handmade portfolio clamshell boxes entitled Toward What Sun? Volume I. This limited edition boxed portfolio was co-published by Van Keuren and the prestigious Manneken Press outside of Chicago and was previewed at the E/AB Fair (Editions/Artists’ Books Fair), New York. Volume II is currently under production. Additional volumes are planned in following years.
The making of all these images has encouraged/allowed the recent interdisciplinary composer/artist collaboration Serenity/Diptychs: For Violin, Tape and Video with the internationally respected Lithuanian classical composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė. This collaborative venture was selected as part of the program Visuonality, at CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics), Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., in 2017.
Additional national and international performances during recent years include the Estonian Academy for Music and Theater, Tallinn, Estonia; Chapel Performance Space, Seattle, Washington; Piano.lt Concert Hall, Vilnius, Lithuania; Spectrum, New York (two performances); and Permainu Muzika, Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Van Keuren has taught in a wide variety of mediums since 1989 reflecting his personal belief in a polyphonic approach to teaching and making works of art.
M.F.A. (1977) and B.F.A. (1974) in Studio Art, Southern Methodist University
The American Academy in Rome Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, 2023
Visual Artists Residency, Vermont Studio Center, 2023
Poetry Residency, Vermont Studio Center, 2007
Nominee: The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, 2009
Fellow: The MacDowell Residency, Peterborough, N.H., 1978 and 2009
Fellow: Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York, 1975
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