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Keith Mayerson

Keith Mayerson (b. 1966), My Family, 2013. Oil on linen, 56 × 70 in. (142.2 × 177.8 cm). © Keith Mayerson; courtesy the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, NY. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging

Keith Mayerson (b. 1966), My Family, 2013. Oil on linen, 56 × 70 in. (142.2 × 177.8 cm). © Keith Mayerson; courtesy the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, NY. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging

Born 1966 in Cincinnati, OH
Lives and works in New York, NY

Reflecting the painter’s lifelong interests in fine art and the language of comics, Keith Mayerson’s My American Dream presents a nonlinear narrative that he asks the viewer to complete. The “American dream” that it proposes is idiosyncratic, personal, and disruptive of traditional understandings, as it focuses simultaneously on subjects drawn from cultural history and the civil rights struggle and from Mayerson’s own life. The salon-style installation includes images of Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Abraham Lincoln, and others, and links these stories to those of the nation and of Mayerson, respectively, coming of age. Paintings of Superman and popular musicians such as Marvin Gaye and the Beatles are juxtaposed with depictions of the artist as a child with his family and with paintings based on photographs of Mayerson with his husband, Andrew Madrid.

The paintings were made over a period of about twenty years. The earliest are exactingly executed; in recent years Mayerson has also made more improvisational abstractions, as well as representational paintings that include passages of freely expressive brushwork. Throughout, optimism mingles with desire, portraying Mayerson’s belief that “personal agency could help to define and strengthen this country.”

On View

Third Floor

Keith Mayerson’s work is on view in the Museum’s third floor galleries.

Works by Keith Mayerson

Mock up of Keith Mayerson’s My American Dream. Installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, March 7 – May 25, 2014.
Keith Mayerson, Rebel Angel (Trevor Machine), 2010. Oil on linen, 18 × 30in. (45.7 × 76.2 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Derek Eller Gallery, New York. © Keith Mayerson. Photograph  by Tom Powel Imaging
Keith Mayerson, Annie Oakley, 2013. Oil on linen, 48 × 36 in. (121.9 × 91.4 cm). Collection of Leigh and Reggie Smith, Houston.
Keith Mayerson, Sitting Bull, 2013. Oil on linen, 48 × 36 in. (121.9 × 91.4 cm).Collection of the artist; courtesy Derek Eller Gallery, New York. © Keith Mayerson. Photograph  by Tom Powel Imaging
Keith Mayerson, Drum Majors (Martin Luther King, Jr., and Family), 2008. Oil on linen, 40 × 30in. (101.6 × 76.2 cm). Collection of Buffy and Stephen Levy. © Keith Mayerson. Photograph  by Tom Powel Imaging
Keith Mayerson, Sleeper, 2011. Oil on linen, 48 × 36 in. (121.9 × 91.4 cm). Collection of Robert Crabb
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