Florida SouthWestern State College is proud to present Steve KEENE: 57 Miles or 455 Furlongs – a newly commissioned, site-specific installation at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery by the “World’s Most Prolific Painter.” Dubbed the “Assembly-Line Picasso” by Time magazine (when his work was featured in 1997) and having created more than 300,000 paintings over the last 35 years, Steve Keene (born 1957) is a Yale University educated, Brooklyn-based artist who believes in mass-producing hand-painted artworks for the masses.
Like his exhibition “The Miracle Half-Mile” at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2000 (where Keene completed more than 10,000 pictures over the two-month run of the show), the internationally-acclaimed painter will be working on-site at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery for two-weeks prior to his 6-8pm public opening and reception on Thursday, April 12th. Inspired by Rauschenberg’s self-contained retrospective The ¼ Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (which was world-premiered in three-sections at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery from 1983-86), Keene estimates that his exhaustive output since the 1990’s (if paintings were placed side-by-side) would extend more than 57 miles (or 455 furlongs) in length.
Famous among indie-rock fans for designing album covers for bands including Pavement and The Apples in Stereo, Steve Keene has painted instruments, video and concert stage sets, as well as promotional and tour posters for the likes of Soul Coughing, Merzbow, The Klezmatics and the Dave Matthews Band. In addition to features on National Public Radio and in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Filter and Spin Magazines, the artist has had major solo exhibitions at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Rice University in Houston, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, Australia, and the Czech Centre in London. Yet, at a monumental and continuous 8 x 200 feet in length, the painter’s planned installation for Steve KEENE: 57 Miles or 455 Furlongs at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW will be one of his most ambitious and immersive projects to date.
More about us: The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida SouthWestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College). On June 4th 2004, the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery to honor and commemorate our long time association and friendship with the artist. Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the “¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece.” The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.
This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation and The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.
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