© Mike Kelley/VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn, photo: Nic Tenwiggenhorn/VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn
Sammlung Goetz

Mike Kelley

„I was experiencing, I think, what has come to be known as the postmodern condition, a form of alienation quite different from postwar existentialism because it lacks any historical sense – there is no notion of truth that has been lost. It is characterized by the feeling that there is a general evenness of meaning.” (Mike Kelley)

Mike Kelley‘s works are based on his own personal experience of US American society and its education system. He takes an intuitively conceptual approach and exploits all available media. Kelley‘s thinking and his actions were shaped by a generation of artists that included such figures as Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim and Paul McCarthy. His intense exploration of language and his interest in music were influenced by Dadaists such as Kurt Schwitters and Raoul Hausmann.

It was bands such as MC5 or the Stooges, and the counter-culture movement of the 1960s, that awakened Kelley‘s interest in visual art. The sources of his work range from hippie psychedelia to American punk, from comics and folklore to Christian iconography and historical references. After turning his back on performance art, he reached a broader audience in 1987 with his Half a Man series, featuring tattered soft toys and stuffed animals.
His installations, which appear playful at first glance, draw the viewer into the artist’s own psychological world of repressed memories, painful experiences and sexual conditioning. Kelley was deeply interested in psychological processes, their scientific analysis, behavioural patterns and issues of sexual identity.
The installations Citrus and White (1991) and Unisex Love Nest (1999) in this exhibition made that intrest abundantly clear. Citrus and White featured a tangle of fluffy soft toys suspended from the ceiling that was regularly sprayed with a scent evoking a culturally specific form of cleanliness, hygiene and freshness. That particular scent, in Germany, just happens to be the scent of pine needles. The second installation was a precise reconstruction of a typical American nursery straight from the pages of a lifestyle magazine. The title Unisex Love Nest and the accompanying video Cross Gender/Cross Genre referenced the determination of traditional gender roles in such „ideal“ nurseries. A similar reference to conventional gender roles was reflected in the installation Alma Pater (Wolverine Den) (1990) mocking the banners, signs and symbols of Kelley‘s own alma mater, ther University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with its focus, shared with other such universities, on honouring male-dominated sports teams. The exhibition concluded, both spatially and chronologically, with the sculpture and projection of Kandor 7 (2007) – in reference to Kandor, the capital city of the planet Krypton in the Superman comic series. The city that Superman comes from is threatened with destruction. Over the years, Kelley created various portrayals of this comic-strip city as an element of his sculptures.

Mike Kelley

271 pages, 150 ill., hardcover.
2008, Kunstverlag Ingvild Goetz GmbH, Hamburg
ISBN 978-3-939894-11-7
€ 25,00

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© Imi Knoebel/VG BILD Kunst, Bonn, photo: Thomas Dashuber

Imi Knoebel

Sammlung Goetz

Autumn/Winter 2021

The Sammlung Goetz honors the artist Imi Knoebel on the occasion of his 80th birthday with a retrospective exhibition. The entire spectrum of Knoebel’s artistic oeuvre will be presented, starting with his black and white photographs from the 1960s to his collages made of multicolored paper and his objects cast in concrete and ending with his most recent paintings in acrylic on aluminum. The presentation also includes Knoebel’s geometrical, minimalist works as well as his expressive paintings from the 1980s, which have rarely been shown until now.

© Barbara Kasten

Barbara Kasten. Works

Sammlung Goetz BASE 103

Autumn/Winter 2021

The American artist Barbara Kasten has created an impressive artistic oeuvre over her career spanning from the 1970s to the present. At the center of Kasten’s work are her abstract, geometric color photographs from the 1980s, which explore the interplay of light and dark and afford new spatial experiences. The Sammlung Goetz, which has extensive holdings of works by Kasten, is mounting the artist’s first solo exhibition in Europe in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. A selection of the extensive retrospective will be on view in the Sammlung Goetz in Munich.

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