Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Artist Mike Kelley Dead at 58 of an Apparent Suicide

Posted by on Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Mike Kelley
  • Mike Kelley

Artist Mike Kelley has died. While this Observer piece says the cause is still unknown, several other sources, such as this Artinfo article, are calling it a suicide. (In July 2010, I wrote a story about a show at Cheekwood, Soaps Flukes & Follies, that included a video Kelley made with Paul McCarthy.)

From Artinfo:

Artist Mike Kelley has passed away at his home in Los Angeles, having apparently taken his own life. The tragic news was confirmed to BLOUIN ARTINFO by Helene Winer, of New York's Metro Pictures gallery, a long-time associate of the artist.

"It is totally shocking that someone would decide to do this, someone who has success and renown and has options," said Winer. "It's extremely sad." She added that the artist had been depressed.

Kelley was born in 1954 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He became involved in the city's music scene as a teen, and while a student at the University of Michigan, formed the influential proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters with fellow artists Jim Shaw, Niagara, and Cary Loren (a retrospective devoted to Destroy All Monsters was held at L.A.'s Prism gallery last year). Together, the band hatched a style of performance that skirted the edge of performance art.

After graduating college in 1976, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts, studying alongside teachers like John Baldessari and Laurie Anderson. Music continued to be a constant passion: he formed another band, "Poetics," with fellow CalArts students John Miller and Tony Oursler.

Kelley's career took off in the early 1990s, with solo shows at the Whitney, LACMA, and other international venues. He and Oursler organized a well-recived installation — a kind of monument to punk — at Documenta X in 1997. In the early 2000s, he began exhibiting with Gagosian Gallery after 20 years with Metro Pictures. For his 2005 exhibition "Day is Done," Kelley filled Gagosian with found yearbook photos, video footage, and automated furniture, prompting New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz to describe the show as an example of "clusterfuck aesthetics."

Kelley's work will be included in the upcoming Whitney Biennial. It is the eighth time his work has been included in the biannual exhibition.

Tags: , ,

Readers also liked…

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Commented On

Top Topics in
Country Life

Film (64)


Visual Art (51)


Critics' Picks (43)


Television (35)


Country Life (27)


Theater (11)


Culture (10)


Fashion (6)


Comedy (6)


Books (3)


All contents © 1995-2014 City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation