Helen S. Smith Gallery

Ryan Kelly: The Crass Menagerie

April 1 through May 1, 2019 Closing Reception and Artist Talk: Wednesday, May 1, 12 - 1 p.m.

Artist Ryan KellyThe Crass Menagerie is a surreal interior domestic space anchored by the large Self-Portrait as Bearskin Rug. The space is populated by wood and paper mache props, evoking anthropomorphic household furnishings and a number of small ceramic sculptures reminiscent of the tchotchkes collected by artist Ryan Kelly's elderly Midwestern relatives. This body of work comes, in part, from Kelly's study of and appreciation for historic and contemporary kitsch ceramic objects, and vernacular art forms. Just as much it is informed by a childhood spent exploring the cramped, overstuffed homes of elderly relatives, filled with books, curios and artifacts from their long lives. While this installation may have a familiarity in expression or form, there is a half-cocked dream logic to the entirety. Kelly is returning to these spaces in his dreams to interrogate these secret objects for their stories.

Bearskin rug self portrait by artist Ryan Kelly
Self-Portrait as Bearskin Rug by Ryan Kelly

Bloke Toby glazed earthenware sculpture by Ryan Kelly
Bloke Toby
by Ryan Kelly

Concerned Lady Toby glazed earthenware sculpture by Ryan Kelly
Concerned Lady Toby
by Ryan Kelly

Pixie Cookie Jar glazed earthenware sculpture by Ryan Kelly
Pixie Cookie Jar
by Ryan Kelly

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