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Keith Boyle
(b. 1930)

One O'Clock Jump
d. 1966
Oil on canvas
40" x 40"

Tevis and Jean Jacobs Collection

Keith Boyle (b. 1930)


Born in Defiance, Ohio on February 15, 1930. He studied at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and received his BFA at the University of Iowa.

Boyle had experimented with almost every contemporary idiom, until he arrived at a format that is at the same time novel and within the mainstream of 20th century painting. Using neon acrylic paint to offset the geometric material he manipulates, Boyle effects an electrically exciting sign-scape. He opens up the canvas by refusing to balance the forms; his painting always reads from side to side, top to bottom or center to edge. In part, this is a negative response to the formalism that crippled his work for eleven years. This multi-directional way of approaching subject matter was not only used by Mondrian, but is also in the tradition of great American painting.

Boyle moved to the Bay Area in California in 1960. He taught painting and drawing at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California from 1962 through1986.  As a professor of art he kept a large painting studio on campus at Stanford and showed in numerous exhibitions in California during this time. In 1981 he earned an individual artist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His paintings are in the San Francisco MOMA and numerous collections.

Boyle’s major influences are Henri Matisse, Clyfford Still, and Richard Diebenkorn. His artist statement states that he is primarily interested in space and color. Keith considers his work unencumbered by culture, theory, and criticism. When asked what his judgment criteria are for determining artistic merit, he said, “When the painting convinces me that it’s real, then it’s good.” He remarked that it is more from experiencing art than from academia.

Keith and his wife Beth moved to the Applegate area in southern Oregon drawn by the excellent theatre of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He had a one-man exhibition at the Schneider Museum of Art in 1996 and served as co-curator of the Regional Perspectives Exhibition. Keith Boyle has taught at Lake Forest College, Barat College, Sacramento State and Stanford University. His paintings are often considered the hallmark of Bay Area color abstractions. His work is represented in many important collections and has been exhibited in many outstanding national and international shows. 

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