Audrey Keeperman’s colorful oil paintings originate in the Midwest, but now hang in private collections in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Their universal appeal lies in Keeperman’s textural approach to abstract expressionism. Influenced by the transitional surrealist work of Roberto Matta, and the scintillations of color in works by Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell, Keeperman came to painting later in life, with a powerful store of experience and hardship to translate to canvas.
Keeperman’s affair with color, however, began in childhood, when the tantalizing simplicity of discarded glass fragments calmed and enchanted a young mind addled by dyslexia. “We lived on an old farm where the previous owners had burnt trash in a pit out back. I escaped the frustration of my dyslexia by hunting in the pit for colored pieces of glass and holding them up to the light. They were beautiful and captivating from any angle.” Keeperman briefly experimented with water colors, then with dichroic glass before moving to oil paints, which gave her more malleable layers of expression in its texture. Still, the colored glass aesthetic pervades Keepermen’s work—most tangibly in Keeperman’s “Weaver” series. The “Weaver” canvases showcase the artist’s whimsical approach to color that somehow subverts its own geometric rigidity. Keeperman describes them as “quadrangle playgrounds for the mind.” The paintings draw viewers in through each multicolor square into another world, as if through a window or portal.
At 12, Keeperman found an unknown tune on her mind, the lyrics of which have stayed with her to this day. “I was born on a lucky day and a double rainbow came my way, full of hopes and dreams, but is life...” The unresolved passage has been a marker of transience in Keeperman’s personal life, and also the movement and depth of color in each of her pieces.
Her work stands as the most palpable disclosure of Keeperman’s innermost life, she eschews the limelight and any attention she garners through her work, in favor of enjoying the simple pleasures of daily life and painting only to satisfy her need to express.