January 19 – May 14, 2023
While pioneering and influential feminist artist Mary Kelly is best known for her 1970s conceptual art installations, Mary Kelly: To Witness The Future is the first exhibition to specifically explore her long engagement with activist movements. The exhibition brings together work made from 2005 to the present, including Kelly’s lint “paintings,” light box photographs, and video art. Visualizing the persistent impact of historical events on the nature of everyday life in the present, this work references women’s responses to key political issues in the North America and Europe starting in the 1960s and 1970s – issues that have taken on new resonance in light of current political shifts influencing the course of our own future.
Mary Kelly: To Witness The Future is organized by the Georgetown University Art Galleries, Washington, DC, and is curated by Al Miner. This exhibition is supported by Helaine Posner (C ’75).
The exhibition is presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the generous assistance of the Office of the former University Librarian, Rebecca Graham, University of Guelph, as well as the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.
About the artist
American conceptual artist, feminist, educator, and writer Mary Kelly has contributed extensively to the discourse of feminism and postmodernism through her large-scale narrative installations and theoretical writings, often addressing questions of sexuality, identity and memory. Past exhibitions include retrospectives at Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010), Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2011), and Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2008), as well as representation in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, and Documenta 12, while her publications include Post-Partum Document (1983), Imaging Desire (1996), Rereading Post-Partum Document (1999), and Dialogue (2011). She was a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2015. Currently the Judge Widney Professor at the USC Roski School of Art and Design of the University of Southern California, she was previously Professor of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was Head of Interdisciplinary Studio.
Image: We don’t want to set the world on fire (detail), 2019, Duratrans print in LED light box, 172.4 x 115.25 x 7 cm. Courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.