The work of artist Mike Kelley (1954 – 2012) embraced performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, sound works, and sculpture. Referencing both high art and vernacular traditions, his works drew from historical research, mass cultural references, and psychological theory. Beginning in the late 1970s with solo performances, image/text works, and gallery and site-specific installations, Kelley came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of common craft materials. His most recent work addressed architecture and filmic narrative through the theory of repressed memory syndrome, and a sustained biographic and pseudo-biographic inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history.
Mike Kelley’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including, most recently, Horizontal Tracking Shots, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2009; Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards: 1995-2008, WIELS Centre d'Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium, 2008; Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , 2008; Mike Kelley: Kandors, Jablonka Galerie, Berlin, 2007; Petting Zoo at Skulptur Projekte Münster, 2007; Profondeurs Vertes at the musée du Louvre, 2006; Day Is Done, a sculpture and video installation at the Gagosian Gallery, NY, 2005; The Uncanny, a curatorial project presented at the Tate Liverpool and at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien in 2004; a 1993 traveling retrospective of his work that opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta X (1997), in Kassel, Germany; five appearances at the Whitney Biennial; and many other solo museum and gallery exhibitions. He was a member of Destroy All Monsters, an improvisational noise band (featuring artists Cary Loren and Jim Shaw) which performed internationally and the visual art wing of the group, The Destroy All Monsters Collective, was featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. He published several volumes of critical writings, Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism (2002), Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals (2004), and Mike Kelley : Interviews, Conversations and Chit-Chat (2005) , a collection of Kelley’s interviews with notable contemporary figures.
Mike Kelley received a BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1976) and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (1978). His awards included The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, National Endowment for the Visual Arts Fellowships, the Awards in the Visual Arts grant, the Skowhegan Medal for Mixed Media, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award from the California Institute of the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Mike Kelley lived and worked in Los Angeles, California.
Mobile Homestead is a trilogy of films that is part of The Artangel Collection. Following their presentation at the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2012, the films had their UK premiere at Tate Modern in May 2013. Since then the trilogy has been presented at Site Gallery, Sheffield in 2013, g39, Cardiff in 2016 and Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2018 'Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland, 2010-11' has since been screened on a floating cinema at the Olympic Park as part of the Art Moves festival. These works are presented in collaboration with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.