Stark Realities

Stark with a still from her 2013 video 'Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Free.' (Photo by Charles Roussel)

After taking the stage to warm applause at MoMA P.S. 1’s Performance Dome on Sunday afternoon, the artist Frances Stark held up a little tissue. “I have a Kleenex, just in case,” she said with a sad smile.

Ms. Stark, who is probably best known for the funny, strangely moving videos she has been making over the past few years with transcripts of online chats that she has with strangers, was at P.S. 1 to give a lecture about her longtime mentor, Mike Kelley, who killed himself in 2012 and is now the subject of a galvanizing and almost unanimously praised retrospective that fills every gallery in the museum, as well as quite a few of its hallways and stairwells. She had titled the talk “Complex Education: Paying Homage.” Read More

On View

Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1

'The Banana Man, 1983. (Courtesy MoMA PS1)

In 1995, the Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley, who passed away last year, created Educational Complex, a piece that reconstructs, in architect’s foam board, a model of all the schools he attended, combining them to form one giant, city-size imaginary facility. He hated school, so it is fitting that his posthumous retrospective should be a subversion of all 40,000 square feet of exhibition space at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, a former public school in Queens. The vast show, curated by the Stedelijk Museum’s Ann Goldstein, consists of some 270 howling, scatological, and often poignant and powerful works. Read More


Extended Hours for Watermill Center’s Mike Kelley Show

Mike Kelley's 'Kandor Bottle 13' video projection (2007). (Courtesy Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Sammlung Falckenberg)

The Watermill Center’s “Mike Kelley: 1954–2012” exhibition is set to close in about three weeks, and the institution is offering extended hours to entice people to make the trek to the Hamptons to see it before it’s gone.

Through the end of its run, on Sept. 16, the show will be open Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Those Tuesday and Wednesday hours are new. Read More


I Do Mind Dying: On Mike Kelley’s ‘Mobile Homestead’ Videos

Mike Kelley in his studio in Los Angeles, September 1993. (Photo: Ann Summa/Getty Images)

Last fall, a few months before he killed himself at the age of 57, the Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley signed off on the final plans for a project called Mobile Homestead, a full-size replica of his childhood home in the Westland area of metro Detroit. He intended to place the replica in downtown Detroit, where it would be used as a community center, providing services ranging from haircuts to block parties. The house would have a two-level basement, closed to the public, conceived as an underground studio where he would make his art—a secret lair and such a natural extension of his overall artistic project that it seems like some kind of joke (it is tempting to think of it as a real-life “Fortress of Solitude,” Superman’s hideout, which Kelley constructed in three-dimensional form and used as the central image in his final solo exhibition last September at the Gagosian Gallery in London). Read More


Performa Hosts Sparkling First Benefit Auction

RoseLee Goldberg at the Performa Benefit with Mike Kelly print in background (Courtesy Rozalia Jovanovic)

“I tell you how much money to spend, and you spend it,” said Sara Friedlander standing on a podium in a gold-sequin skirt and a jean shirt tied at her waist. “It’s like I tell my husband.” Ms. Friedlander, a post-war and contemporary art specialist at Christie’s, was moonlighting last night as an auctioneer at Performa’s first benefit auction.

The benefit for Performa, which organizes a performance art biennial in New York, was held at the Flag Art Foundation’s Chelsea gallery, which was filled with sun for almost the entire evening as guests sampled porcini mushroom pastry puffs and endive spears filled with crab salad while surveying the works at auction by artists like Mike Kelley, Laurie Simmons, Christian Marclay and Shirin Neshat, among many others. A black crown fashioned from black leather and rhinestone studded stars, by Rashaad Newsome, sparkled in the sunlight streaming in from the balcony. A dancer with the Trisha Brown Company said he had bid on the Marclay piece, a torn corner of a page from a comic book. Read More

Week in Pictures

Gallerist’s Week in Pictures: Cupcakes and Julian Schnabel Edition

18 Photos

Cupcakes and champagne at "Priapus & Thanatos," at the Hole

This week, Gallerist traveled far and wide around the boroughs, from Bushwick at the Bogart Salon where Francis Greenburger and Ann Fensterstock were among the panelists convened to discuss “Capital and Its Discontents,” over to the Hole on the Bowery for a phallic reading with champagne and cupcakes, up to Chelsea where we stopped in for the Read More


Dia and EAI Plan 12-Hour Mike Kelley Screening in New Dia Space

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Mike Kelley, The Banana Man, 1983

While the Stedelijk’s traveling Mike Kelley retrospective will likely not arrive at MoMA PS1 for at least a year (the date is still unconfirmed), New Yorkers will be able to take in a good portion of the iconic artist’s video work on Saturday, April 14, in a 12-hour video screening organized by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Dia Art Foundation in coordination with the Mike Kelley Foundation. Kelley died in January at the age of 57.

The screening, which will be the first public event to take place at 541 West 22nd, a former marble factory that Dia purchased last year, stretches almost the entire length of Kelley’s career. (The space may become the site of a new Dia:Chelsea space, but for now it is largely unaltered, complete with some kilns.)

Among the works to be shown are The Banana Man, from 1983, his seminal 1992 collaboration with Paul McCarthy, Heidi and A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, released in 2011 with artist Michael Smith. Read More