Possibly the most iconic Los Angeles artist of the 1980s and 1990s, Kelley’s work spans installation, sculpture, painting and alternative music. Drawing on kitsch, juvenilia, or low cultural objects such as comic books, children’s toys, carnival costumes and punk music, Kelley’s abject and uncanny works speak to psychoanalytical themes and, in turn, the underbelly of everyday American culture.
In Repressed Spatial Relationships… Kelley continued his interest in schools as formative institutions and spaces of repressed psychosexual memories. His 1994 project, Educational Complex took St Mary’s Church and School as one of a series of educational establishments that the artist attended. Each was reconstructed from memory, with areas of the building that Kelley could not recall left blank, suggesting ‘repressed memories’. Revisited in 2002, each school was reproduced as a mobile, their rooms unhinged from one another as they might be in the mind.