Steve Keister's sculptures reinterpret Mesoamerican art with allusions to contemporary found objects; he has been known to make concrete casts from pieces of Styrofoam and other packing materials picked up off the street. In earlier works, from the 1970s and early 1980s, he typically used found industrial materials such as plywood, spandex, and Plexiglas to create dynamic abstract forms. After a visit to Mexico, Keister became interested in the continuity between the forms of the past and those of the present. The artist describes his current work as a form of "interstitial archaeology," referencing both the ancient civilizations of the Americas and contemporary consumer culture.
Keister is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant. His work has been exhibited in solo gallery exhibitions in several American cities, as well as in group exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among other venues. In 1981, he was included in the Whitney Biennial.