Bittersweet Dutch delight: LA and Amsterdam collide in retrospective

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kelley-portraitI didn’t come to Amsterdam explicitly to see the retrospective of the late LA-based artist, Mike Kelley, who took his own life last year.

Nor did I come here to see the newly re-opened, grand Stedelijk Museum, which has been in the works for 8 years.

But if you wanted to learn a lot about this prolific artist and the Dutch all in one go-round, this show would be the place to do it.

013.STEDELIJK MUSEUM-MIKE KELLEY 2012.PH.GJ.vanROOIJOn a weekday afternoon, the museum was packed with people of all ages.  One Dutch reviewer said the show, which spans several levels of the expansive museum and contains 200 objects, looked more like a group show–for the many styles and media in which Kelley created.

042.STEDELIJK MUSEUM-MIKE KELLEY 2012.PH.GJ.vanROOIJAnnGoldstein-RD_originalI had the pleasure of talking with the press-shy Ann Goldstein, a native of LA, graduate of UCLA, and artistic director of the Stedelijk –who worked for years at MOCA.  She knew and supported Mike Kelley, and so this retrospective was bittersweet.  You can hear our conversation at the link below.

The Mike Kelley retrospective is open until April 1st at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam.  The exhibit then heads to Paris, NY, and then to MOCA in March of 2014.