The Swiss gallery Hauser and Wirth is to represent the Mike Kelley Foundation worldwide, the gallery and foundation jointly announced on today. The artist established the foundation in 2007, five years before his untimely death in 2012 at the mere age of 57.
In a statement, the foundation says that the full extent of the collaboration is still to be decided, but that in the mean time the gallery will serve to “further advance the legacy of Mike Kelley through exhibitions and public programs at its gallery spaces internationally, as well as through development of new publications and research on the artist’s work, and the sale of artworks.”
Until now, the foundation has mainly served to distribute grants to artists across the media in which the artist worked. After Kelley’s apparent suicide at his South Pasadena home, an event that deeply shocked the art world, after which the foundation took on the larger role of caring for his legacy and estate.
Mike Kelley came to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with solo exhibitions at major institutions across the US. For 20 years he was represented by Metro Pictures until switching to Gagosian in the early naughts.
Mourners were invited via an anonymous Facebook page to “help rebuild MORE LOVE HOURS THAN CAN EVER BE REPAID AND THE WAGES OF SIN (1987), by contributing stuffed fabric toys, afghans, dried corn, wax candles; building an altar of unabashed sentimentality.” The memorial was active throughout February 2012 and was dismantled in early March 2012, with the contents given to the Mike Kelley Foundation.