Jeffrey Keith – Faculty Triennial 2012

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Above: Jeffrey Keith, “Gone”, Oil on birch, 2011.

Though influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, Jeffrey says he is more strongly drawn towards the figurative work of California painters. In the early 80s, Jeffrey transitioned towards a more abstract style himself, feeling that it provided a deeper level of expression. Color theory is central to Jeffrey Keith’s work. Experimentation earlier in his career with complicated color problems led to a simplification of his process. He did away with brushes and now works with assorted blades and scrapers, working off linen (or board in this case) set on low trestles. More and more, he spends time working the paint on the palette and less time actually laying down the paint. Almost every painting he makes plays with a complementary color scheme. Even in paintings that at first glance seem to be monochromatic, like “Gone,” the color fluctuates in differing versions of itself. A red painting like this one will show signs of green/brown (or a yellow painting will be shadowed with purple/gray). Constantly shifting light draws out an infinite number of shades; creating the impression on second or third glance that the artist has altered a painting since the first viewing!

More information about Jeffrey and his work can be found online via