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- DescriptionMike Kelley (b.1954) is one of the best contemporary examples of an artist who, like Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni and Vito Acconci before him, combines sculpture with performance. Best kwn for his assemblage sculptures made from stuffed children's toys, often set upon the 'stage' of a homemade Afghan rug, Kelley draws upon the Modernist traditions of the found object and collage in his colourful, irreverent sculptures. Childhood and adolescence are referenced with all the sexual ambiguity, tastelessness and low humour associated with those age groups. His attitude of aesthetic disobedience, bridging 'low' (crafts) and 'high' (sculpture, painting) forms of art, has its roots in the rejection of the social and moral fabric of American culture. Despite his subversion and anti-art tactics, Kelley has been recognized since the 1980s by the international art world as one of the most significant and representative artists working today in the United States, and his work has been shown at venues as diverse as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Paris's Musee du Louvre. In the Survey, California-based art historian and critic John C. Welchman exmaines Kelley's relationship to 1970s post-Minimalism, American popular cultures, 1980s appropriation and the conceptual vernacular of the 1990s. German art critic and editor Isabelle Graw discusses with the artist his aesthetic and symbolic strategies in the cultural contexts of America and Europe. In the Focus, architectural theorist Anthony Vidler explores the psycho-geography of Kelley's Educational Complex (1995), an architectural model based on the artist's memory traces of his educational environs. For the Artist's Choice, Kelley has selected two early twentieth-century texts that have influenced his investigations of primal psychological drives and aesthetics: The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade (An Open Letter to My Current Comrades) (1929) by Georges Bataille and The Book of the Damned (1919) by Charles Fort. Mike Kelley's writings include project descriptions and accompanying texts from his major works; a retrospective view of his radical rock band Destroy All Monsters; and essays on prevailing themes, such as caricature, in the cultural history of representation.
- Author BiographyJohn C Welchman lectures in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California in San Diego. A noted art critic, he has written widely on twentieth-century art. Welchman's books include The Dada and Surrealist Word-Image (co-author, 1989), and Towards a Cultural Understanding: Studies of Visual Modernity (1995). Isabelle Graw is founder and Editor of the acclaimed international art magazine Texte zur Kunst, based in Cologne. Her writing on contemporary art has been published in many international art journals, including Parkett, Artforum and Flash Art. Anthony Vidler is Professor of Art History and Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to several definitive volumes on the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century architecture, he is the author of the highly influential studies The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (1994) and Warped Space: Architecture and Anxiety in Modern Culture (1999).
- Author(s)Charles Fort,Georges Bataille,Isabelle Graw
- PublisherPhaidon Press Ltd
- Date of Publication02/11/1999
- SubjectIndividual Artists / Art Monographs
- Series TitleContemporary Artists Series
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintPhaidon Press Ltd
- Content Note120 colour plates, 30 b&w illustrations, chronology, bibliography
- Weight1021 g
- Width250 mm
- Height290 mm
- Spine18 mm
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