Andre Wallace

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mike Kelley RIP - abject art

The normal reaction to Paul Mcarthy's artwork is downright disgust at the scatological content and the crude animal absence of humanity in the art he has produced. Art for the unfeeling, the unsympathetic, the drugged up, the dead head and the severely culturally challenged. A similar problem exists with the work of his much vaunted and deceased colleague Mike Kelley for whom advance publicity has popped up in the Independent of the 28th August. There is however, much more subtlety in Kelley's ideas and significantly less pure viciousness.
The powers that be at the Tate feel that he now needs to be bought to UK attention as "the most important American artist you have never heard of."  In a recent post I argued that there are indications that State contemporary art is beginning to run on an empty tank, this further confirms the suspicion. Stuart Comer - film curator at the Tate, -  tells us that he is attempting to fill the gap in "our cultural knowledge" with a show to mark the anniversary of Kelley's suicide! Unhappily Kelley killed himself in January 2012 at the age of 57years.

The show will be held in the Tate Tanks, consisting of film and "abject art" as Kelley termed his art products. We learn that among other artists in the US he was hugely influential, a dominant presence in Los Angeles in the 1990's and that London is the only major city where he doesn't have a major status. Comer adds; " for whatever reason he has had a different status over here.." Paul Schimmel former chief curator at the LA, Museum of Contemporary Art tells us that LA would not have become a great international capital of contemporary art without Mike Kelley. Comer adds " His death took everyone by surprise, and it affected people heavily. .. I haven't experienced that level of grief in the art world for some time." He will be sadly missed!

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