Keith Milow b. 1945

Overview

Keith Milow is an enigmatic artist who has lived and worked in London, New York and Amsterdam. Milow trained at the Camberwell School of Art and The Royal College of Art. His work infiltrated the avant-garde 1970’s art scene alongside other British artists such as Derek Jarman, Gilbert & George and Richard Long. Milow’s subversive work focuses on a blurring of the boundaries between painting and sculpture, contemporary artistic production and ancient relics. As art historian Jo Melvin highlights, Milow “helped to shape and define a critical period of new and experimental art practices in Britain when the distinctions between painting and sculpture and equally importantly between figuration and abstraction collapsed.” In 1971 he exhibited with Andy Warhol at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and had his first major solo show at the Nigel Greenwood Gallery in 1989.

 

During this show, Milow developed a very specific and consistent approach to making. Constructing modular interlocking lead forms, layering them on to board and layering over them with contrasting surface textures, Milow defined his own distinctive style. These works attracted the interest of the Tate Gallery and they acquired a number of pieces during this exhibition. In experimenting with the effects of oxidisation Milow created a rich new materiality. Milow also began to play with the notion of monumentality, experimenting with the symbolic weight of different materials and textures. Precise painted typographies that appear to reference ancient inscriptions are juxtaposed with the dappled effects of rust on the surface of the lead and copper. The anachronistic dimension of these works helped cement Milow’s position as a member of the British avant-garde.

 

His work has been included in many major exhibitions including: Homers (1973), MoMA, New York; British Painting 1952-1977 (1977),Royal Academy of Art, London; British Art Now (1980), Guggenheim Museum, New York and Modern British Sculpture (1988), at the Tate Gallery. Milow has now returned from Amsterdam and currently lives and works in London.

Works