Currently on view at The Geffen Contemporary – MOCA, Los Angeles is Mike Kelley, a survey exhibition highlighting one of the most influential artists of our time. Through his life (1954-2012) Kelley produced a body of deeply innovative work mining American popular culture and both modernist and alternative traditions – which he set in relation to relentless self and social examinations, both dark and delirious. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kelley lived and worked in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until his death at the age of fifty-seven. Over his thirty-five year career, he worked in every conceivable medium – drawings on paper, sculpture, performance, music, video, photography, and painting – exploring themes as diverse as American class relations, sexuality, repressed memory, systems of religion and transcendence, and post-punk politics, to which he brought both incisive critique and abundant, self-deprecating humor.
Mike Kelley is the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date, bringing together over 250 works, from 1974 through early 2012. The exhibition, which occupies the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue, is organized to underscore the recursive nature of Kelley’s work.