Mike Kelley (1954–2012) was one of the true greats of recent American art; his provocative and multilayered output commented upon and critiqued numerous facets of contemporary life—including popular culture, sex, religion and the persistence of class in a supposedly classless society. Although Kelley was an internationally recognized fixture of the Los Angeles art scene, the energy and anger in his work ultimately drew upon his upbringing as the son of a janitor in Detroit. Working in a diverse range of mediums—painting, drawings, sculpture, performance, music, photography and video—Kelley was arguably the most original and influential artist of his generation, until suicide tragically cut short his career. This retrospective at MoMA PS1 is the largest and most comprehensive survey of his work to date, and for the first time in 25 years, the museum is devoting its entire building to a single artist. A show not to be missed.
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