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Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore
22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave.)
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 433-1088 booksmomaps1@artbook.com
Store hours:
Thurs, Sun, Mon: 12–6 PM
Fri, Sat: 12–8 PM 


Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Bookstore
East 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA
(213) 988-7413
bookshw-la@artbook.com
Store hours:
Tues–Sun: 11AM–6PM



       
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Mike Kelley: Arenas
Text by Cary Levine


Mike Kelley’s Arenas series of the late 80s and early 90s mark a shift away from the artist’s performance-oriented activity and towards a new sculptural dexterity, in which cultural resonance is elicited from an eerie reframing of everyday objects. First exhibited in 1990 at Metro Pictures, the Arenas are comprised of stuffed animals arranged around the edges of blankets (or occasionally posed isolate in their center). Ten or twenty such toys in such groupings might convey a cheery childhood picnic scenario, but Kelley rarely selects more than five or six, and places them carefully so that their cuddliness and their capacity to comfort is entirely canceled out. Instead, we encounter the toy as a commodity entity—a mass-manufactured product positioned to enter into play but far from inviting it. Skarstedt’s exhibition of seven of the eleven Arenas is here recorded in superb installation shots and with critical commentary.

Skarsdedt, 2011. | Hardcover | 8.75 x 11.25” | 44 pgs