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Overview

Mary Reid Kelley's visually rich and intellectually stimulating video art converses with history. Fusing techniques of live performance and stop-motion animation, Reid Kelley creates poignant characters who declaim in droll verse, blending Homer and Cindy Sherman. Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos is the first museum exhibition devoted to the finely crafted and researched costumes, objects, and drawings that Mary Reid Kelley creates for her videos, in collaboration with Patrick Kelley. These working objects reveal Reid Kelley as a master of the contemporary impulse to work across and synthesize art media. A winner of the Rome Prize and subject of PBS's series 'Art21,' Reid Kelley (b. 1979) is widely lauded by critics and curators. Her visually rich and intellectually stimulating videos appeal to diverse audiences of cutting-edge contemporary art, as well as world history and literature. Her videos, set in nineteenth century Paris, the Western Front during World War I, and the Crete of classical myth, have been presented...

Mary Reid Kelley's visually rich and intellectually stimulating video art converses with history. Fusing techniques of live performance and stop-motion animation, Reid Kelley creates poignant characters who declaim in droll verse, blending Homer and Cindy Sherman. Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos is the first museum exhibition devoted to the finely crafted and researched costumes, objects, and drawings that Mary Reid Kelley creates for her videos, in collaboration with Patrick Kelley. These working objects reveal Reid Kelley as a master of the contemporary impulse to work across and synthesize art media.

 A winner of the Rome Prize and subject of PBS's series "Art21," Reid Kelley (b. 1979) is widely lauded by critics and curators. Her visually rich and intellectually stimulating videos appeal to diverse audiences of cutting-edge contemporary art, as well as world history and literature. Her videos, set in nineteenth century Paris, the Western Front during World War I, and the Crete of classical myth, have been presented at museums internationally, including the Tate Modern, ICA Boston, and SITE Santa Fe. For the first time, the artist is presenting the actual objects and elements of her videos, which mix the hyper-real and the fake in unique ways.

Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos presents Reid Kelley's three recent high definition videos—"You Make Me Iliad" (2010), "The Syphilis of Sisyphus" (2011), and "Priapus Agonistes" (2013)—and also reveals the inventive process by which she has fused live performance, drawing, sculpture, costume design, and digital media. In addition to the three videos, the exhibition includes found objects and finely crafted materials, which have been enhanced by the artist. These objects include 25 costumes, four furniture ensembles, eight masks, six hats, two wigs, three pairs of shoes, and nearly 100 other props including jewelry, bottles, mirrors, sunglasses, a globe, and a volleyball. Installed in full-scale, theatrical and worktable settings, these elements will fully immerse the viewer in an artist's unique vision.

Drawing and paintings on paper are major components of Reid Kelley's videos, and over 30 such works will be in the exhibition. The drawings are used as visual elements in the videos, appearing as backgrounds and scenery, as signs and components, and as textures and patterns. In addition, "character drawings" or portraits of the personages from her videos will be in the show. These drawings are the culmination of her lengthy working process, from research to writing to costume and prop design to performance, digital sets, and editing. "They close the conceptual loop," says Reid Kelley.

Samuel Dorsky

SUNY New Paltz 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561

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