Return of Destroy All Monsters at PRISM GalleryNov. 18, 2011
Before Detroit native Mike Kelley moved to Los Angeles and gained fame as an artist of the underbelly, he was a bit of a cult hero on the No Wave scene. He formed the band and art collective Destroy All Monsters with fellow art students Cary Loren, Niagara and Jim Shaw, and they played vacuum cleaners, violins, coffee cans and broken keyboards in the 1970s in Ann Arbor, Mich., until Kelley and Shaw decamped to the west coast to attend the California Institute of the Arts.
Now, as part of the Getty-sponsored exhibition series “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980,” PRISMgallery in West Hollywood is opening an exhibition of ephemera related to the band, titled “Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters, 1973-1977,” Nov. 19, 2011-Jan. 7, 2012.
In the show are photographs, drawings, paintings and prints created by its members during the 1970s; popular posters and zines from the era; a collage of fliers in the gallery’s atrium, installed by Shaw; new prints from Kelley, Loren and Niagara; and a series of four mural-sized paintings from 2000 that the collective painted as an ode to Detroit pop culture and subculture. The canvases were later shown at the 2002 Whitney Biennial.