1949 (age 73–74)
|Education||High School of Art and Design, San Francisco Art Institute|
Rita Keegan (born 1949) is an American-born artist, lecturer and archivist, based in England since the late 1970s. She is a multi-media artist whose work uses video and digital technologies. Keegan is best known for her involvement with in the UK's Black Arts Movement in the 1980s and her work documenting artists of colour in Britain.
Born Rita Morrison in the Bronx, New York City, to a Dominican mother and Canadian father, she described her upbringing in the Bronx as having "more in common with an English/Commonwealth background". She graduated from the High School of Art and Design focusing on illustration and costume design, then obtained a fine arts degree at the San Francisco Art Institute, where her teachers included the photographer Imogen Cunningham and the African-American artist Mary O'Neill. Keegan moved to London, England, in the late 1970s.
Keegan originally trained as a painter but in the 1980s begin to incorporate lens-based media, using the photocopier and computer in both 2D and installation work. In 1984 she worked at "Community Copyart" in London. The GLC-funded organisation was an affordable resource centre for voluntary groups to create they own print material in addition to working with artists who wanted to use the photocopier as a form of printmaking.
Keegan was a founding member of the artists' collectives Brixton Art Gallery in 1982, and later Women's Work and Black Women in View. She went on to co-curate Mirror Reflecting Darkly, Brixton Art Gallery's first exhibition by the Black Women Artists collective. From 1985 Keegan was a staff member at the Women Artists Slide Library (WASL), where she established and managed the Women Artists of Colour Index. She was Director of the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive from 1992 to 1994. In 2021 she had a solo exhibition Somewhere Between There and Here at the South London Gallery
Keegan taught New Media and Digital Diversity at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she also helped establish the digital-media undergraduate course in the Historical and Cultural Studies department.
- 2021: Somewhere Between There and Here solo exhibition at the South London Gallery
- 2006: Transformations, Lewisham Arthouse and Horniman Museum, London (solo)
- 1997: Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean Artists in Britain, 1966-1996, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Caribbean Cultural Center (Manhattan), New York
- 1998: Family Histories: Eating with Our Memories, Sleeping with the Ancestors, 198 Gallery, London (solo)
- 1995: Time Machine: Ancient Egypt and Contemporary Art, InIVA and British Museum, London
- 1993: Rites of Passage, ICA, London (solo)
- 1992: Trophies of Empire, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Bluecoat, Liverpool curated by Keith Piper
- 1992: White Noise: Artists Working with Sound, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
- 1991: Four X 4 curated by Eddie Chambers, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton
- 1991: Family Album: An exhibition by Brixton Black Women Artists, Copyart Resource Centre, London
- 1990: Let the Canvas Come to Life with Dark Faces, Bluecoat
- 1985: Mirror Reflecting Darkly: Black Women's Art, Brixton Art Gallery, London
- 1983: Women's Work, Brixton Art Gallery, London
- ^ a b Cutting Edge, The Women's Research Group, ed. (1999). Desire By Design: Body, Territories and New Technologies. I.B.Tauris. p. 237. ISBN 9781860642807.
- ^ a b c d e Cheddie, Janice (2002). "Keegan, Rita". In Donnell, Alison (ed.). Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture. Routledge. p. 167. ISBN 9781134700257.
- ^ "Rita Keegan" (YouTube video, posted 9 August 2013), SamtheWheels, 2008.
- ^ Chambers, Eddie (1991). Four x 4: installations by sixteen artists in four galleries. Bristol: E. Chambers.
- ^ a b Rendell, Clare (October 1987). "Actual Lives of Women Artists - Rita Keegan 19887". Women Artists Slide Library Journal (19): 10–11.
- ^ Buckman, David, ed. (2006). Dictionary of Artists in Britain Since 1945. Art Dictionaries. ISBN 9780953260959.
- ^ Taylor, Stuart (10 January 1997). "Rita Keegan on Digital Diversity and the Colour of Computers". Mute. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- ^ Baines, Jess (2015). "Nurturing Dissent? Community Printshops in 1970s London". In Uldam, Julie; Vestergaard, Anne (eds.). Civic Engagement and Social Media: Political Participation Beyond Protest. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 190. ISBN 9781137434166.
- ^ a b "TrAIN Conversation - Françoise Dupré and Rita Keegan in conversation with Deborah Cherry - BRIXTON CALLING!". University of the Arts London, Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- ^ Arya, Rina (2012). Chila Kumari Burman: Shakti, Sexuality and Bindi Girls. KT Press. ISBN 978-0953654130.
- ^ a b Morris, Kadish (11 September 2021). "Rita Keegan: the return of black British art's forgotten pioneer". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
- ^ "Exhibitions and Special Exhibits since 1948". Horniman Museum and Gardens. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- ^ Holland Cotter, "ART REVIEW; This Realm of Newcomers, This England", The New York Times, 24 October 1997.
- ^ "Time Machine: Ancient Egypt and Contemporary Art". InIVA. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- ^ a b c "Keegan, Rita - Bibliography and Exhibitions". African American Visual Artists Database.
- ^ Chambers, Eddie (1991). Four X 4. ISBN 0951329014. Diaspora Artists.
- ^ "Mirror Reflecting Darkly – Black Womens Art – Womens Work 4". Brixton Art Gallery Archive. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Rita Keegan, "The Story So Far", Spare Rib, February 1990, Issue 209, p. 36.
- Rita Keegan, "Once Upon a Time", Spare Rib, December–January 1988, Issue 197, p. 44.
- Guy Burch; Françoise Dupré (2011). Brixton Calling!: Then & Now: Brixton Art Gallery & the Brixton Artists Collective. ISBN 978-1-902770-13-0.
- "Rita Keegan" (YouTube video, posted 9 August 2013), SamtheWheels, 2008.
- Women of Colour Index archive record at The Women's Art Library at Goldsmiths College, London.