Cologne

Mike Kelley

Jablonka Galerie

Mike Kelley’s exhibition here was bound to strike a nerve in the viewer who hopes to look at art with restraint or curiosity, judging it in peace and quiet and drawing inspiration or not. Instead, without a distance to facilitate the experience, the viewer found himself in front of paintings that seemed to bode no good. They demand, “Discover the human body organ: the brain, the lungs, the kidneys, the heart, the intestines.” With quiet compositions and modest gradations of black and white, these works take us on a very special pictorial journey into the world of organic tissue—and polyethylene garbage bags.

Kelley presents the viewer with the self-explanatory, yet elliptical Heart with a Fancy Hat, 1989; a pair of lungs, one cheerful, one sad (Comic and Tragic Lung, 1989); and a horrifying image of a lady with a parted-tongue coiffure (Double Lapping Tongue Brunette, 1989). With Incorrect

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