Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley is a Los Angeles-based artist, noise musician, and writer. He is a member of the graduate faculty in the M.F.A. program at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

  • Minor Histories

    Minor Histories

    Statements, Conversations, Proposals

    Mike Kelley and John C. Welchman

    The second volume of writings by Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley, focusing on his own work.

    What John C. Welchman calls the "blazing network of focused conflations" from which Mike Kelley's styles are generated is on display in all its diversity in this second volume of the artist's writings. The first volume, Foul Perfection, contained thematic essays and writings about other artists; this collection concentrates on Kelley's own work, ranging from texts in "voices" that grew out of scripts for performance pieces to expository critical and autobiographical writings.Minor Histories organizes Kelley's writings into five sections. "Statements" consists of twenty pieces produced between 1984 and 2002 (most of which were written to accompany exhibitions), including "Ajax," which draws on Homer, Colgate- Palmolive, and Longinus to present its eponymous hero; "Some Aesthetic High Points," an exercise in autobiography that counters the standard artist bio included in catalogs and press releases; and a sequence of "creative writings" that use mass cultural tropes in concert with high art mannerisms—approximating in prose the visual styles that characterize Kelley's artwork. "Video Statements and Proposals" are introductions to videos made by Kelley and other artists, including Paul McCarthy and Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose. "Image-Texts" offers writings that accompany or are part of artworks and installations. This section includes "A Stopgap Measure," Kelley's zestful millennial essay in social satire, and "Meet John Doe," a collage of appropriated texts. "Architecture" features an discussion of Kelley's Educational Complex (1995) and an interview in which he reflects on the role of architecture in his work. Finally, "Ufology" considers the aesthetics and sexuality of space as manifested by UFO sightings and abduction scenarios.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £55.00
    • Paperback $36.95 £30.00
  • Foul Perfection

    Foul Perfection

    Essays and Criticism

    Mike Kelley and John C. Welchman

    Critical writings and commentary by the Los Angeles based artist Mike Kelley.

    The work of artist Mike Kelley (b. 1954) embraces performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, and sculpture. Drawing distinctively on high art and vernacular traditions, including historical research, popular culture, and psychology, Kelley came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of craft materials. His recent work offers dialogues with architecture and with repressed memory syndrome, and a sustained inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history. The subjects on which Kelley has written are as varied as his artistic media. They include the work of fellow artists, sound, caricature, the uncanny, UFOlogy, and gender-bending.

    This book offers a diverse collection of Kelley's writings from the last twenty-five years. It contains major critical texts on art, film, and the wider culture, including his piece on the aesthetic he calls "urban Gothic." It also contains essays, mostly commissioned for exhibition catalogs and journals, on the artists and groups David Askevold, Öyvind Fahlström, Douglas Huebler, John Miller, Survival Research Laboratories, and Paul Thek, among others. Kelley's voices are passionate, analytic, and ironic, and his critical intelligence is leavened with touches of whimsy.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $34.95 £28.00

Contributor

  • Art School

    Art School

    (Propositions for the 21st Century)

    Steven Henry Madoff

    Leading international artists and art educators consider the challenges of art education in today's dramatically changed art world.

    The last explosive change in art education came nearly a century ago, when the German Bauhaus was formed. Today, dramatic changes in the art world—its increasing professionalization, the pervasive power of the art market, and fundamental shifts in art-making itself in our post-Duchampian era—combined with a revolution in information technology, raise fundamental questions about the education of today's artists. Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) brings together more than thirty leading international artists and art educators to reconsider the practices of art education in academic, practical, ethical, and philosophical terms. The essays in the book range over continents, histories, traditions, experiments, and fantasies of education. Accompanying the essays are conversations with such prominent artist/educators as John Baldessari, Michael Craig-Martin, Hans Haacke, and Marina Abramovic, as well as questionnaire responses from a dozen important artists—among them Mike Kelley, Ann Hamilton, Guillermo Kuitca, and Shirin Neshat—about their own experiences as students. A fascinating analysis of the architecture of major historical art schools throughout the world looks at the relationship of the principles of their designs to the principles of the pedagogy practiced within their halls. And throughout the volume, attention is paid to new initiatives and proposals about what an art school can and should be in the twenty-first century—and what it shouldn't be. No other book on the subject covers more of the questions concerning art education today or offers more insight into the pressures, challenges, risks, and opportunities for artists and art educators in the years ahead.

    Contributors Marina Abramovic, Dennis Adams, John Baldessari, Ute Meta Bauer, Daniel Birnbaum, Saskia Bos, Tania Bruguera, Luis Camnitzer, Michael Craig-Martin, Thierry de Duve, Clémentine Deliss, Charles Esche, Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Hans Haacke, Ann Lauterbach, Ken Lum, Steven Henry Madoff, Brendan D. Moran, Ernesto Pujol, Raqs Media Collective, Charles Renfro, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Michael Shanks, Robert Storr, Anton Vidokle

    • Paperback $44.95 £38.00
  • Paul Thek

    Paul Thek

    Artist's Artist

    Harald Falckenberg and Peter Weibel

    Images of more than 300 works by this groundbreaking artist document his journey from legendary outsider to central figure in many contemporary art movements.

    Paul Thek occupied a place between high art and low art, between the epic and the everyday. During his brief life (1933-1988), he went against the grain of art world trends, humanizing the institutional spaces of art with the force of his humor, spirituality, and character. Twenty years after Thek's death from AIDS, we can now recognize his influence on contemporary artists ranging from Vito Acconci and Bruce Nauman to Matthew Barney, Mike Kelley, and Paul McCarthy, as well as Kai Althoff, Jonathan Meese, and Thomas Hirschhorn. This book brings together more than 300 of Thek's works—many of which are published here for the first time—to offer the most comprehensive display of his work yet seen. The book, which accompanies an exhibition at ZKM ? Museum of Contemporary Art presenting Thek's work in dialogue with contemporary art by young artists, includes painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation work, as well as photographs documenting the room-size environments into which Thek incorporated elements from art, literature, theater, and religion. These works chart Thek's journey from legendary outsider to foundational figure in contemporary art. In their antiheroic diversity, Thek's works embody the art revolution of the 1960s; indeed, Susan Sontag dedicated her classic Against Interpretation to him. Thek's treatment of the body in such works as “Technological Reliquaries,” with their castings and replicas of human body parts, tissue, and bones, both evoke the aura of Christian relics and anticipate the work of Damien Hirst. The book, with more than 500 images (300 in color) and nineteen essays by art historians, curators, collectors, and artists, investigates Thek's work on its own terms, and as a starting point for understanding the work of the many younger artists Thek has influenced.

    Essays by Jean-Christophe Ammann, Margrit Brehm, Bazon Brock, Suzanne Delehanty, Harald Falckenberg, Marietta Franke, Stefan Germer, Kim Gordon, Roland Groenenboom, Axel Heil, Gregor Jansen, Mike Kelley, John Miller, Susanne Neubauer, Kenny Schachter, Harald Szeemann, Annette Tietenberg, Peter Weibel, Ann Wilson

    • Hardcover $80.00 £65.00
  • Colour

    Colour

    David Batchelor

    Writings on color from modernism to the present, by writers from Baudelaire to Baudrillard, surveying art from Paul Gauguin to Rachel Whiteread.

    Whether it is scooped up off the palette, deployed as propaganda, or opens the doors of perception, color is central to art not only as an element but as an idea. This unique anthology reflects on the aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical meaning of color through the writings of artists and critics, placed within the broader context of anthropology, film, philosophy, literature, and science. Those who loathe color have had as much to say as those who love it. This chronology of writings from Baudelaire to Baudrillard traces how artists have affirmed color as a space of pure sensation, embraced it as a tool of revolution or denounced it as decorative and even decadent. It establishes color as a central theme in the story of modern and contemporary art and provides a fascinating handbook to the definitions and debates around its history, meaning, and use.

    Artists surveyed include: Joseph Albers, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Jimmie Durham, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gauguin, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Kazimir Malevich, Piero Manzoni, Henri Matisse, Henri Michaux, Beatriz Milhazes, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Hélio Oiticica, Paul Signac, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Yinka Shonibare, Jessica Stockholder, Theo van Doesburg, Vincent van Gogh, Victor Vasarely, Rachel Whiteread

    Writers include: Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Charles Blanc, Jacques Derrida, Thierry de Duve, Umberto Eco, Victoria Finlay, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Johannes Itten, Julia Kristeva, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, John Ruskin, Adrian Stokes, Ludwig Wittgenstein

    • Paperback $24.95
  • The Artist's Joke

    The Artist's Joke

    Jennifer Higgie

    Jokes and humor in avant-garde and contemporary art, as discussed by writers and artists ranging from Freud and Picasso to Andrea Fraser, the Guerilla Girls, and Slavoj Žižek.

    Ever since Freud's Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious appeared in 1905, humor both light and dark has frequently surfaced as a subversive, troubling, or liberating element in art. The Artist's Joke surveys the rich and diverse uses of humor by avant-garde and contemporary artists. The texts collected in this new reader from London's Whitechapel Gallery examine what André Breton called the “lightning bolt” of the unsettlingly comic, as seen in the anarchic wordplay of Duchamp, Picasso, the Dadaists, and Surrealists; Pop's fetish for kitsch and the comic strip; Bruce Nauman's sinister clowns and twisted puns; Richard Prince's joke paintings; art ambushed by feminist wit, from the Dadaism of Hannah Höch in the 1920s to the politicized conceptualism of Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger in the 1980s; the serenely uncanny in Mike Kelley's installations and the risibly grotesque in Paul McCarthy's; and the strangely comic scenarios of artists as various as Maurizio Cattelan, Andrea Fraser, Raymond Pettibon, and David Shrigley. Artists' writings are accompanied and contextualized by the work of critics and thinkers including Freud, Bergson, Hélène Cixous, Slavoj Žižek, Jörg Heiser, Jo Anna Isaak, and Ralph Rugoff. Jennifer Higgie is the coeditor of frieze magazine. She has published writings on such contemporary artists as Ricky Swallow, Magnus Von Plessen, and David Noonan.

    Artists surveyed include Leonora Carrington, Maurizio Cattelan, Marcel Duchamp, Marlene Dumas, Fischli & Weiss, Andrea Fraser, the Guerilla Girls, Hannah Höch, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Barbara Kruger, Sarah Lucas, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenberg, Raymond Pettibon, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Arnulf Rainer, Ad Reinhardt, ED Ruscha, Carolee Schneemann, David Shrigley, Robert Smithson, Annikia Ström, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol Writers includeHugo Ball, Henri Bergson, André Breton, Hélène Cixous, Sigmund Freud, Jörg Heiser, Dave Hickey, Jo Anna Isaak, Ralph Rugoff, Peter Schjeldahl, Sheena Wagstaff, Hamza Walker, Slavoj Žižek

    • Paperback $24.95
  • More & Less 2

    More & Less 2

    Sylvère Lotringer

    Contributors: Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    Contributors Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    • Paperback $16.95 £13.99