How Mike Kelley Transforms Low Culture into High Art

15 May | New York

In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, learn how Mike Kelley re-contextualizes everyday, "low" culture items to develop the Conceptual art of his celebrated Memory Ware series. His work Memory Ware Flat #12, executed in 2001, is a striking example of how appropriated folk art can subvert the emotional value of cherished trinkets. From a distance, the all-over nature of the composition recalls pointillism, but a closer look reveals a dense topography of charged symbols that critique of the banality of culture. At varying shapes, scales, and concentrations, Kelley’s clusters avoid compositional focus and instead opt for a dynamic all-over abstracted surface that ultimately blurs the line between high and low art. Memory Ware Flat #12 will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction. (15 May | New York)

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