stockholm

Mary Kelly and Ray Barrie, Habitus, 2010, laser-cut cast acrylic, mirror, wood, 48 x 96 x 96". Installation view.

Mary Kelly

Moderna Museet | Stockholm

Mary Kelly and Ray Barrie, Habitus, 2010, laser-cut cast acrylic, mirror, wood, 48 x 96 x 96". Installation view.

In the New York Times of October 17, 1980, Hilton Kramer maligned Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, 1974–79—an installation of thirty-nine place settings for historically significant and mythical women—as “art so mired in the pieties of a political cause that it quite fails to acquire any independent artistic life of its own.” His parry against Chicago, and by extension the women’s movement, was as reckless as Clement Greenberg’s dismissal of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work as “pseudo-modern art . . . little more than tinted photography.” Such chauvinism would have been familiar to Mary Kelly, whose Post-Partum Document, 1973–79, materialized in the same period. Kelly’s project became a cause célèbre for the movement, but with more than thirty years’ perspective, its subject, then alien to the art world, feels ever more poignant: motherhood’s psychological and social paradox—holding

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