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Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Mike Kelley, 1991
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Mike Kelley

by Jerry Saltz

The roiling perverse genius Mike Kelley is dead at 57, reportedly by his own hand. A Detroit native, Kelley spent his whole career in Los Angeles, where -- with Raymond Pettibon, Paul McCarthy, Catherine Opie, Jennifer Pastor, Charles Ray and Jason Rhoades -- he helped turn the incipient foreboding of Edward Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Nancy Rubins and Chris Burden into an all-out acrimonious art of darkness. In 1992, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art organized this group under the rubric "Helter Skelter."


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