Mary Kelly & Ray Barrie, Habitus, 2010, © Mary Kelly.
Berwick Street Collective (Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan), Nightcleaners, 1972-1975 © Courtesy of the Berwick Street Collective and LUX, London. 16mm, Video 90 mins, B&W, Sound (Optical).
Mary Kelly & Ray Barrie, Detail of Multi-Story House, 2007, © Mary Kelly.
Mary Kelly & Ray Barrie, Multi-Story House (Installation view, Documenta12) , © 2007.
Four works in dialogue 1973-2010
Curator: Cecilia Widenheim
October 16, 2010-January 23, 2011
Mary Kelly is one of the most influential contemporary artists today. Her project-based work is created in dialogue with the women’s movement of the 1970s as a series of ongoing questions informed by feminism, and she is a vital inspiration to younger artists. Over the years, she has developed a unique way of combining personal narratives with humor and a critically analytical approach in her large-scale installations.
In connection with Moderna Museet’s project “The Second Museum of Our Wishes”, one part of Mary Kelly’s major ground-breaking work Post-Partum Document (1973-79) was acquired for the Moderna Museet collection. Post-Partum Document was completed over a period of six years and shows how a child, the artist’s son, gradually masters language in a mutual process of socialization between mother and child in the first few years of life. This is the first time Post-Partum Document will have been shown in its entirety in an exhibition in Sweden.
A deep interest in history and time can be found throughout Mary Kelly’s oeuvre. The exhibition Four Works in Dialogue includes The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi (2001), Multi-Story House (2007) and a new work, Habitus, commissioned for this venue. Presenting her seminal project from the 1970s together with the later work, generates an exchange between two moments in history, alternative views of collective memory, different iterations of the mother-and-child relationship and co-incident forms of identity.
Mary Kelly studied painting in Florence in the 1960s and lived in Beirut for several years. In 1968, she moved to London and pursued her studies at the St Martin’s School of Art. In London, she embarked on her critique of conceptual art, basing it on feminist theory and the 1970s women’s movement. Mary Kelly was also a co-founder of the Artists’ Union and worked with the Berwick Street film Collective. Her major projects include Post-Partum Document, Interim, Gloria Patri, The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi and Love Songs, shown at documenta12 in Kassel in 2007. Mary Kelly lived in New York and taught at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program from 1989 until she joined the faculty of the art department at the University of California Los Angeles in 1996.
Selected shows by Mary Kelly include Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2008; 16th Biennale of Sydney, 2008; documenta12, Kassel 2007; WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Los Angeles/New York, 2007; Batalla dos Xeneros, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, 2007; Occupying Space, Haus der Kunst, Munich/Zagreb/Rotterdam; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2004; Nude/Body/Action, Tate Modern, London, 2000; The American Century 1950-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1999; Generali Foundation, Vienna, 1998; Malmö Konstmuseum, 1996; •NowHere•, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, 1996; Uppsala Konstmuseum, 1994; Helsinki City Art Museum, 1994; Galleri F15, Moss, 1994; ICA, London, 1993; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1991; Power Plant, Toronto, 1991; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1990; 4th Biennale of Sydney, Gallery of New South Wales, 1982; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1977; ICA, London, 1976.
Ray Barrie studied sculpture at St. Martins School of Art with Anthony Caro. He was part of an emerging group of artists who turned toward process oriented work. In the 1970s, he collaborated with Ian Breakwell on Unword and later with Mary Kelly on numerous projects including Multi-Story House for documenta 12. He has continued to interrogate the relationship between masculine subjectivity and three-dimensional form. Most recent solo show: Physical Limits, La Cienega Projects, Los Angeles, 2009. Group exhibitions include Europa 79, Stuttgart; Biennale of Sydney, 1984; Difference: On Representation and Sexuality, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1985. Ray Barrie lives and works in Los Angeles.