mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce

bourse de commerce presents mike kelley retrospective

 

From October 2023 to February 2024, the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection is hosting a retrospective dedicated to American artist, Mike Kelley. Titled Ghost and Spirit, this exhibition is part of the broader American Mythologies showcase, which includes a Lee Lozano display and installations by Ser Serpas and Mira Schor. Together, they offer a thought-provoking portrayal of America, blending self-deprecation, depth, harshness, and poetry.

 

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009 | all images courtesy of Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

 

 

about mike kelley

 

This retrospective at Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection (find more here) celebrates one of the most influential American artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, offering a fresh perspective on his significant and unconventional body of work.

Hailing from his formative years in Los Angeles, Mike Kelley (find more here) delved into performance art, drawing inspiration from radical feminist practices to forge an innovative approach to creative expression, challenging established norms. Throughout his life, he was engaged in various music groups, including the proto-punk ensemble Destroy All Monsters, founded in 1974. His most renowned works are meticulously crafted sculptures infused with a biting wit, as well as installations crafted from plush toys, shedding light on the gendered and commercial influences on the young. 

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009

 

 

ghost and spirit’: a journey through mike kelley’s artistic legacy

 

Ghost and Spirit presents a sequence of different bodies of work or immersive environments by the artist, among which are presented in the Rotunda, the Kandors: cities of the future under glass bells. Also emerging throughout the tour are the ‘minor stories’ – as Kelley called them – of his own practice: drawings, photographs and preparatory writings enlightening the visitor on his thinking.

Mike Kelley’s work has consistently drawn from subcultural references, navigating the tension between the profound critical thinking he cultivated and the superficiality of a pop aesthetic, occasionally toying with seduction or a trashy style. He persistently underscored the artist’s role and their presence or absence. In an early 1980s note for an unperformed performance piece, Kelley contemplated the distinction between a ghost and a spirit: the former vanishes while the latter endures. He considered himself a ghost, yet his spirit endures, especially among younger generations of artists. It is this ‘persistent influence’ (‘A spirit has a lingering inluence,’ he writes) of the spirit of Mike Kelley which runs through the exhibition. 

 

The exhibition is organized by the Tate Modern (London), in collaboration with Pinault Collection, K21 — Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf) and the Moderna Museet (Stockholm). It is first presented at the Bourse de Commerce, in Paris, during the fall and winter of 2023 before continuing its itinerary.

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009

mike-kelley-retrospective-bourse-de-commerce-designboom-full-00

Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Kandors Full Set (détail), 2005-2009

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

mike-kelley-retrospective-bourse-de-commerce-designboom-full-01

Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Double Contour with Side Bars (détail), 2000

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Red Stain, 1986

mike kelley's glass bell cities complete 'ghost and spirit' retrospective at bourse de commerce
Mike Kelley, Ghost and Spirit, 2023

 

 

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The Banana Man costume
The Banana Man costume
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Mike Kelley, Memory Ware Flat #17, 2001
Mike Kelley, Memory Ware Flat #17, 2001
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project info: 

 

name: Ghost and Spirit – American Mythologies
artist: Mike Kelley
location: Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris, France
dates: 13 October 2023 – 19 February 2024

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