Positing cerebral concepts from psychology, philosophy, and art theory against kitschy craft mediums, awkward adolescent scenarios, and rudimentary renderings, Mike Kelley’s oeuvre works against art’s hierarchical history as it expands its breadth. His 2005 project, “Day Is Done,” is a massive, amorphous collection of works in diverse media that reconstruct purported “repressed memories” of generic high–school activities as recorded in anonymous yearbook photographs. He scrutinizes moments of ritual and tradition by restaging scenes common in American adolescence, such as school dances and Halloween activities, investigating the moral and experiential subtexts of these events in the process.
Mike Kelley was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, and died in 2012 in Los Angeles, California. He received his B.A. in 1976 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his M.F.A. in 1978 from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Recent solo exhibitions include “Categorical Imperative and Morgue,” Van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk, The Netherlands (2000); “Sod and Sodie Sock (w/Paul McCarthy),” Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, Institut d’art contemporain, France (2003); “Mike Kelley–The Uncanny,” The Tate Liverpool, England (2004, traveled to MUMOK, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna); “Profounders vertes,” Musée du Louvre, Paris (2006); “Day is Done Judson Church Dance,” Judson Memorial Church, New York (2009); “Themes and Variations from 35 Years,” The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012); “Mobile Homestead,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2013); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); “An Homage to Mike Kelley,” MoMA PS1, New York (2013); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014).
September 5–28, 2018
Exploded Fortress of Solitude
September 8–October 22, 2011
Britannia Street, London
Kandor 10/Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #34 | Kandor 12/Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #35
January 11–February 17, 2011
Horizontal Tracking Shots
November 7–December 23, 2009
West 24th Street, New York
February 6–March 17, 2007
Britannia Street, London
Day Is Done
November 11–December 17, 2005
West 24th Street, New York
Mike Kelley and Franz West
To Be Read Aloud (À haute voix)
October 13, October 20, and November 21, 2018, 9pm
Centre Pompidou, Paris
To Be Read Aloud (À haute voix) (1999) is an experimental theater piece by artists Mike Kelley and Franz West. On the occasion of West’s retrospective at Centre Pompidou, director Fanny de Chaillé presents a reenactment of this work—a dialogue in which the artists reflect on the development of their practices within the avant-garde scenes of Los Angeles and Vienna since the 1970s—within West’s installation Auditorium (1992). The event is free with museum admission.
Mike Kelley and Franz West’s poster design for performance of To Be Read Aloud (À haute voix) (1999). Artwork © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All rights reserved/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and © Archiv Franz West
Seattle Art Fair 2018
August 2–5, 2018, booth A09
CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle
Gagosian is pleased to present Out of This World: Artists Explore Space, a booth curated by Larry Gagosian for the 2018 Seattle Art Fair. The presentation gathers works that reveal artistic and scientific explorations of the cosmos. Featured artists include Richard Avedon, Andisheh Avini, Chris Burden, Alexander Calder, Vija Celmins, Ellen Gallagher, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Neil Jenney, Mike Kelley, Yves Klein, Vera Lutter, Brice Marden, Marc Newson, Nam June Paik, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Taryn Simon, Yves Tanguy, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Ed Ruscha, Even Though He’s Light Years Away, His Heart Belongs to Me, 1963 © Ed Ruscha
FOG Design+Art 2018
January 11–14, 2018, booth 209
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco
Gagosian is pleased to participate in FOG Design+Art Fair 2018, presenting a selection of works by Davide Balula, Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Piero Golia, Mark Grotjahn, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Houseago, Mike Kelley, Giuseppe Penone, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Jeff Wall, and others.
Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (African II, Gated Front and Back Mask M44.e), 2015 © Mark Grotjahn. Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio
The Foundation of the Museum
Through January 20, 2020
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles
To mark the museum’s fortieth anniversary, this exhibition presents a selected topography of artworks that speak to the diversity of MOCA’s collecting over the past four decades. With special emphasis on works associated with the museum’s remarkable history of exhibitions, The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection shows the institution’s holdings as shaped by a changing landscape of developments in contemporary art and curatorial focus, as well by as the social and cultural backdrops that inform them. Work by Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Albert Oehlen, Nancy Rubins, and Ed Ruscha is included.
Chris Burden, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986 © 2019 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Squidds and Nunns
The Way We Live Now
Through February 2, 2020
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Civilization: The Way We Live Now features more than two hundred works from one hundred international photographers. The exhibition considers patterns of mass behavior and the complexities of life in twenty-first-century urban environments. This show originated at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. Work by Mike Kelley, Vera Lutter, and Taryn Simon is included.
Vera Lutter, Clock Tower, Brooklyn, XXXVI: June 16, 2009, 2009 © Vera Lutter
Art and the Studio System
Through March 1, 2020
Yuz Museum, Shanghai
In Production: Art and the Studio System emphasizes the overlapping histories of visual art and film, with a particular focus on how the site of the studio, both in visual arts and in cinematic production, has radically shifted in the last twenty years. The exhibition highlights the exceptional gifts and acquisitions related to film and video that have entered the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection in recent years including work by Piero Golia, Douglas Gordon, Alex Israel, and Mike Kelley.
Douglas Gordon, Déjà-Vu, 2000 , installation view, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 . D.O.A., 1950, USA. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Produced by Joseph H. Nadel, Harry M. Popkin, and Leo C. Popkin. Distributed by United Artists © Cardinal Pictures. Photo: Brian Forrest
Craft in Art, 1950–2019
November 22, 2019–January 2021
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft over the past seven decades. Some expand techniques with long histories, such as weaving, sewing, or pottery, while others experiment with clay, beads, and glass, among other mediums. Work by Richard Artschwager, Mike Kelley, Shio Kusaka, and Sterling Ruby is included.
Shio Kusaka, (line 5), 2010 © Shio Kusaka