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Keith Piper
There is something of the epic in the art of Keith Piper.

His work draws on a complex interlacing of multiple voices to create new meanings out of old stereotypes. Ostensibly his strategy arises from the critiques of the 1980s concerning institutions of power, particularly that of the art institute. And while art dealing with the postcolonial currently hones a neo-minimalist aesthetic, Piper has maintained a maximalist aesthetic constitutive of his concerns with history, agency and the archive. Time bends and space collapses as the subject in history is also the subject of history, implicating us all through his critique.

Piper's approach to working is broadly conceptual and demonstrates a commitment to the tradition of collage, arguably a cornerstone of 20th Century modern art practice. Early text and image-based paintings, such as 'The Weak against the Weak' (1982) or 'The Nanny of the Nation Gathers Her Flock' (1987) engage with strategies of disjuncture through a collage of imagery taken from the media, drawing from the works of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers or Leon Golub. By the end of the 1980s Piper had ceased making paintings or objects and had moved to computer based multi media work, but he continued a strategy of combining newspaper reports, and objects of cultural value and metaphor to confer searing critique on power relations arising out of his experience as a Black British male coming of age in the 1970s.

The Nanny of the Nation Gathers Her Flock, 1987
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