Peter Loughrey’s LA Modern Auctions is selling a major Mike Kelley work from the mid-80s on October 12th:
Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is pleased to announce that Mike Kelley’s Nazi War Cave #1 (1985) will be a featured lot in the upcoming October 12, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction. This exemplary work from Kelley’s Plato’s Cave, Rothko’s Chapel, Lincoln’s Profile project is being sold by the estate of the original owner and will trade hands for the first time this fall.
Nazi War Cave #1 (1985) (Estimate $400,000 – 600,000), from the Plato’s Cave, Rothko’s Chapel, Lincoln’s Profile project that Kelley worked on from 1985-86, is one of ten works that explores the eternal artistic conundrum: truth versus illusion. This work employs text and imagery that creates layers of meaning, oscillating between “jokes”, “red herrings” and real “issues.” Kelley is begging the viewer to scrutinize this work by placing text and imagery together to decipher what is “real” and what is “fake.” “My language usage in artworks is not just babble. Often there are jokes on certain critical or historical issues – and that can be seen if one reads closely,” Kelley states from an interview in 1999.
Kelley’s work marks a critical point of progression in the history of post-war conceptual art. “L.A. would not have become a great international capital of contemporary art without Mike Kelley. Of all the artists in the 1980s, he was the one who really broke out and established a new and complex identity for his generation,” says Paul Schimmel, expert on Kelley’s work and principal of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.
Another drawing from this project, Exploring from Plato’s Cave, Rothko’s Chapel, Lincoln’s Profile (1985) is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art.
Nazi War Cave #1
Acrylic on paper
Sheet: 68.875″ x 104″
Exhibited: “Mike Kelley,” traveling exhibition, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, December 15, 2012-April 1, 2013; Centre Pompidou, Paris, May 2-August 5, 2013; MoMA PS1, New York October 13, 2013-February 4, 2014; MOCA, Los Angeles, March 31, 2014-July 28, 2014
Illustrated: Welchman, John C, Isabelle Graw, and Anthony Vidler, Mike Kelley. 2nd ed, New York: Phaidon, 2011, p 14; Meyer-Hermann, Eva, and Lisa Gabrielle Mark, eds, Mike Kelley. Munich: DelMonico/Prestel, 2013, p 76.
Estimate: $400,000 – 600,000