The largest exhibition of the artist's work to-date and the first comprehensive survey since 1993, it brings together over 200 works, from early pieces made during the 1970s through 2012. Kelley explored themes as diverse as American class relations, sexuality, repressed memory, systems of religion and transcendence, and post-punk politics.
The exhibition is curated by Ann Goldstein, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; in cooperation with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts; and organized at MoMA PS1 by Connie Butler, formerly The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, MoMA, now Chief Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1. Curator of the first exhibition concept is Dr. Eva Meyer-Hermann.
MoMA PS1 presents Mike Kelley, the largest exhibition of the artist's work to-date and the first comprehensive survey since 1993. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954-2012) produced a body of deeply innovative work mining American popular culture and both modernist and alternative traditions—which he set in relation to relentless self- and social examinations, both dark and delirious. Bringing together over 200 works, from early pieces made during the 1970s through 2012, the exhibition occupies the entire museum. This exhibition marks the first time the entire building of MoMA PS1 has been dedicated to a single artist. Mike Kelley is on view from October 13, 2013 through February 2, 2014.
Born in Detroit, Kelley lived and worked in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until his tragic death last year at the age of 57. Over his thirty-five year career, he worked in every conceivable medium—drawings on paper, sculpture, performances, music, video, photography, and painting. Speaking of his early work and artistic concerns at large, Kelley had said, ―My entrance into the art world was through the counter-culture, where it was common practice to lift material from mass culture and ̳pervert‘ it to reverse or alter its meaning... Mass culture is scrutinized to discover what is hidden, repressed, within it.‖ Through his art, Kelley explored themes as diverse as American class relations, sexuality, repressed memory, systems of religion and transcendence, and post-punk politics. He brought to these subjects both incisive critique and abundant, self- deprecating humor.
Kelley‘s work did not develop along a purely linear trajectory. Instead, he returned time and again to certain underlying themes—the shapes lurking underneath the carpet, as it were—including repressed memories, disjunctions between selfhood and social structures as well as fault lines between the sacred and the profane. The work Kelley produced throughout his life was marked by his extraordinary powers of critical reflection, relentless self-examination, and a creative—and surprising—repurposing of ideas and materials.
Mike Kelley is organized by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
The exhibition is curated by Ann Goldstein, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; in cooperation with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts; and organized at MoMA PS1 by Connie Butler, formerly The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, now Chief Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1.
Curator of the first exhibition concept is Dr. Eva Meyer-Hermann.
Mike Kelley is accompanied by a fully illustrated 400-page catalogue co-published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and DelMonico Books/Prestel. The most comprehensive publication on the artist to date, the catalogue is designed by acclaimed Los Angeles- based graphic designer Lorraine Wild, who worked closely with Kelley over the past decade. Dr. Eva Meyer-Hermann and Lisa Gabrielle Mark serve as co-editors.
The publication offers three newly commissioned scholarly essays, by John C. Welchman, Branden W. Joseph and George Baker. The book also features Dr. Eva Meyer- Hermann‘s insightful, in-depth interview with Mike Kelley, the last given by the artist; a plate section with work and project descriptions by Welchman; and an updated exhibition history, bibliography, videography and list of performances.
A program of live events will accompany the exhibition.
The presentation at MoMA PS1 is made possible by MoMA's Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.
Major support is provided by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions and by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley.
Additional funding is provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.
Image: Mike Kelley as the Banana Man. 1981. (c) Estate of Mike Kelley. All rights reserved. Courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Photo: Jim McHugh.
Rebecca Taylor, (718) 786-3139, email@example.com
Press preview Friday, October 11, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. Conversation between curators Ann Goldstein, Peter Eleey, and Connie Butler, with Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue Long Island City, NY
MoMA PS1 is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year‘s Day.
$10 suggested donation; $5 for students and senior citizens; free for MoMA members and MoMA admission ticket holders.