Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) created a protean body of deeply innovative work, which mined American popular culture, modernism and alternative traditions alike for purposes of a relentless, dark and delirious examination of self and society. In the largest presentation of this achievement ever organized—the first comprehensive survey since 1993—the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has brought together almost 200 of the artist’s works, spanning the entirety of his 35-year career, in the exhibition MIKE KELLEY on view through April 1, 2013.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, who lived and worked in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until his tragic death at age 57, Kelley made use of every conceivable medium—drawings on paper, sculpture, performances, music, video, photography and painting—as he explored an equally diverse set of themes, including American class relations, sexuality, repressed memories, systems of religious belief and transcendence and post-punk politics. He brought to these subjects both an incisive critical intelligence and abundant, self- deprecating humor. MIKE KELLEY is the first major international traveling exhibition the Stedelijk has organized and presented in its newly expanded and renovated building.
After being shown at the Stedelijk, the exhibition will travel to the Centre Pompidou, Paris (May 2– August 5, 2013), MoMA PS1, New York (October 7, 2013–January 5, 2014) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (March–June 2014, exact dates to be confirmed). MIKE KELLEY is organized by Ann Goldstein, Director of the Stedelijk Museum, in cooperation with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. The curator of the first exhibition concept is Dr. Eva Meyer-Hermann.
All images via CAD