Mike Kelley’s “Kandors” Lands at Hauser & Wirth New York This Fall
Here's a sneak peek of the gallery's major fall show.
Here’s one more reason to get excited for the fall: Hauser & Wirth‘s will have its first major Mike Kelley exhibition in New York since the gallery was tapped to represent the late artist’s foundation earlier this year.
The show will feature works from “Kandors,” Kelley’s last major series before his death in 2012.
The series is named for the fictional city of Kandor, the capital city of Superman’s home planet, Krypton. According to comic book lore, Superman’s father sent his infant son to Earth in anticipation of Krypton’s destruction.
In his attempt to save him, Superman’s father inadvertently sentenced him to a life of alienation, displacement, and longing. As Kelley once explained, Kandor functions for Superman as “a perpetual reminder of his inability to escape the past, and his alienated relationship to his present world.”
Visually opulent and technically ambitious, “Kandors” combines sculpture, video, and a sprawling installation that haunts visitors. Kelley began the series in 1999, and worked on it again in 2007, 2009, and 2011. Pieces from the series were shown at Berlin’s Jablonka Galerie in 2007 and at Gagosian in London in 2011. “It is a visual and acoustic tour de force, a ghostly yet breathtaking spectacle that leaves gallery-goers feeling as though they’ve landed on another planet,” Holger Liebs writes in a 2008 review in Frieze.
Exploded Fortress of Solitude, the epic, cavernous installation that will be spread across the gallery’s 18th Street space, was one of the last in the series to be created before Kelley’s untimely death. It will be shown for the first time in the United States alongside Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #36 (Vice Anglais), a work that takes its cues from classic British horror films.
From inside the depths of Superman’s storied Fortress of Solitude, the viewer is reunited with the lost city of Kandor, now rendered as a glowing miniature metropolis. While Kelley’s interpretation of Superman’s world is likely a bit more offbeat than the DC Comics original, we predict it will be every bit as awe-inducing up close.
“Mike Kelley” will be on display at Hauser & Wirth New York from September 10–October 24, 2015.
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