Howard Singerman-Mike Kelley review for X-TRA
Mike KelleyMuseum of Modern Art PS1
Queens, New York
October 13, 2013-February 2, 2014
By most accounts, the Mike Kelley retrospective exhibition at MoMA PS1 was a resounding success.1 The old public school building seemed the perfect environment for Kelley’s work, given its themes and iconography, and it was always packed. There were crowds of young people, more than a few in elaborate costumes; art students, or people who fit that description; and families with children in strollers. One hopes the kids were young enough not to know what they were looking at, but with Freud and Kelley both, it is likely that no child is ever young enough not to be traumatized, if only after the fact. Every time I went there were lines waiting to get into the gallery that housed his Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites, (1991/99); it’s not clear to me why that work in particular, but it became a popular Instagram and Tumblr image and blog entry.