Mike Kelley, Back to School

Detail of Mike Kelley: Deodoriazed Central Mass.

      This is a test. Can you look at Mike Kelley’s huge survey (MoMA PS1 to Feb. 2) without thinking of how he died? Is it too soon to come to grips with the art? Recent evidence has emerged that St. Vincent was shot by some stupid boys by mistake. Nevertheless, van Gogh’s “suicide” haunts even the most cheerful of his landscapes. That haunting and the fading of certain colors shows how both false history and bad chemistry are art’s most dangerous collaborators. I … [Read more...]

Chris Burden, Part Two — Boys Will Be Boys

Transfixed, 1974

  “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures” is now at the New Museum to January 12. Burden has what looks like a bifurcated career, an oeuvre with a caesura. There’s the Burden of daredevil performance art, and then the sculptor Burden who famously makes outsize boys-toys. The iconic performances, in case you have forgotten, are Shoot, 1971, having himself shot in the arm and Transfixed, 1974, having himself nailed to the hood of a Volkswagen.   Although some sense of his 54 pioneering … [Read more...]