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)

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news.
Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Close