Kelley – Memory Ware


Publisher: Jablonka Galerie
Year: 2001
ISBN: 9783931354213
Hardcover, 84 pages, 24 x 31.7 cm.
Condition: NEW
Mike Kelley’s Memory Ware series embodies the thematic engagement with memory-related concerns that informed the second half of the artist’s career. Kelley devoted himself to exploring conventions of remembering, representing, and reconstructing the past. 

Kelley borrowed the phrase ‘memory ware’ from a type of folk art popular in black communities of the American South and in Victorian Britain, in which the surfaces of common household vessels – bottles, vases, lamps – are covered with such small personal items and keepsakes as keys, buttons, shells, and beads in a matrix of clay. 

Kelley first encountered examples of the genre at a Toronto antiques fair in 2000, where he purchased a memory ware bottle. 

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