Mike Kelley (1954-2012)

Visual arts

Twinkling Coppers (from “Plato’s Cave, Rothko’s Chapel, Lincoln’s Profile”), 1986
Acrylic on canvas with penny and string of multi-colored flashing electrical Christmas lights
60 x 60 x 3 3/8 inches (152.4 x 152.4 x 8.6 cm)

Artist Mike Kelley died today. Story here.

Peter Frank, Associate Editor of Fabrik magazine and art critic for The Huffington Post, eulogizes Kelley:

Mike Kelley was one of the less predictable, more original, and most committed talents of his — my — generation. His punk-driven suburban surrealism hit home, inspiring a distinctive discourse within, and helping to substantiate, the post-modernist trajectory. He was also notably devoted to and supportive of the community of artists. What a shame that the pain and isolation his art alternately bespeaks and thinly veils ultimately engulfed him.

Gallerist Jack Rutberg writes in an email:

Mike Kelley’s [death] is tragic. I met the fellow when he visited the gallery, and was impressed by him. He was hugely impressed with the work of Hans [Burkhardt], and brought one of his fans in a few years ago to introduce her to great painting. I’m always appreciative of breadth of appreciation and consideration — especially when it falls outside one’s own aesthetic engagement. 


Photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

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