Mike Kelley - Untitled (detail)

Mike Kelley /   Michael Kelley

United States 1954 - 2012

Installation, Sculpture, Performance Art


Mike Kelley
Michael Kelley
United States
October 21, 2014

Michael Mike Kelley was one of the most influential figures in American contemporary art. During his 35 years long career Mike Kelley worked with almost every medium imaginable from drawings on paper, sculpture, performance, music, video, photography, and painting. The versatile artist also produced a number of collaborative works as a result of projects made with artists Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler and John Miller.1 His interests were as diverse as the mediums he used and included sexuality, repressed memory, religion and spirituality, the class system and post-punk politics. By using an array of the non-artistic object such as blankets and toys in his art Mike Kelley continuously blurred the line between high and low culture.

California arts institute, Los Angeles, Arts centre in France and Detroit were home to many contact exhibitions
Mike Kelley – Deoderized – Central Mass, Photo Joshua White, via moma.org

Mike Kelley – Contemporary Art With an Attitude

Mike Kelley was born on October 27, 1954, in a small town of Wayne near Detroit in Michigan. The artist was quickly attracted to heavy metal music and started his first band when he was in high-school. But Mike Kelley’s Destroy All Monsters wasn’t an ordinary band, but rather a conceptual art project that created, zines, papers and performance pieces reminiscent of Dada theater. He graduated from the University of Michigan before he moved to Los Angeles to study on California Institute of the Arts. During his university days at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif the artist was influenced by Conceptual art focus nurtured by professors John Baldessari, Laurie Anderson and Douglas Huebler. He began creating multimedia installations that merged large-scale drawings and paintings, writings, along with sculptures, videos, and performances, often scatological and sadomasochistic in nature.2 In the 1980s the American artists moved away from music and performances and started using rags, dolls, blankets and similar materials to create possibly his most recognizable body of work.

Mike Kelley’s celebrated More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin art installation made in 1987, consists of entangled dolls, animals, and blankets sewn onto a large canvas as the artist explored the fictional childhood scene with some visceral pathos.3 The artwork explores the relationship between parents and children and whether the love parents invest in their offspring could be or even should be repaid. In 1988, Kelley attracted attention yet again with an installation entitled Pay for Your Pleasure, that dealt with the connection between brilliance a madness. The artwork featured a gallery of portraits of genius men like poets, philosophers, and artists accompanied with quotes that suggested that madness, criminality and similar tendencies are impossible to separate from creativity. An artwork made by serial killer John Wayne Gacy was located at the end of the installation thus seemingly confirming the theory.

In More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin, Mike Kelley used toys as tools to explore the relationship between parents and children

These new contact works were exhibited at museum in his home town, and new France arts center
Mike Kelley – More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin via Whitney museum of American art

Exploring New Media with Every Art Piece

But Mike Kalley was never afraid of changes and when the audience entered MOCA to visit a group show dedicated to L.As finest artists they were greeted with artworks completely different from the childlike installations they are used to seeing. Mike Kelley’s Proposal for the Decoration of an Island of Conference Rooms (With Copy Room) for an Advertising Agency Designed by Frank Gehry installation represented a steady architectural piece that consisted of regular office cubes with generic furniture that were disrupted with an array of vulgar and sexually explicit statements written all over the walls. In November 2005 Mike Kelley stepped out of his comfort zone once again and surprised the audience with an artwork entitled Day is Done that dealt with extracurricular activities of high school kids trough 2.5 hours long video artwork. The piece that futures an array of religious and folk art motifs as well as numerous unusual characters including witches, a dancing devil as well as mimes and demons focus on trauma, abuse and various types of socially acceptable deviations often experienced by teenagers. From 1999 till 2011 the artist spent his time working on his Kandor series that retold the story of Superman. The Superman that believes that his planet Kandor was destroyed when he was a small boy suddenly gets the news that the planet is hijacked by Brainiac and kept inside of a glass bowl. Finally, Superman manages to retrieve Kandor from Brainiac and hides it in his Fortress of Solitude. The mix media installation entitled Fortress of Solitude represents the highlight of the unique exhibition.

Day is Done Video Work by Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley Death and Relevant Museum Exhibitions

In the early 2010s, everything seems to be going great for the prominent artist. His works were featured in the greatest institutions in the world, sold for million dollars at auctions and the artist was getting the recognition he deserved. On January 31, 2012, when the retrospective of his work was about to open at Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam the press and the art world were suddenly shocked with the news that Mike Kelley committed suicide in his home in South Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California. According to the press, Mike Kelley ended his life by carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 57. Soon after his death spontaneous outburst of grief occurred on the site near his studio in Los Angeles, where people brought stuffed toys, blankets, and wax candles thus creating installations similar to his famous More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin artwork to celebrate his life and work. This mourning installation was later donated to Mike Kelley foundation that provides grants for innovative projects that reflect his multifaceted artistic practice.

Mike Kelley’s famous exhibitions include Eternity is a Long Time at Hangar Bicocca in Milan, exhibition at UMMA – The University of Michigan Museum of Art in Michigan, Under the Big Black Sun California Art 1974-1988 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, California, ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, video works and a sprawling installation exhibition at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, exhibit at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, in his home town of Detroit, Michigan, Kelley’s Kandors exhibition that (explored Kandor extensively) at Hauser & Wirth New York, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, American Academy in Rome Gallery, Rome, Skarstedt Fine Art gallery, New York City, Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France, Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, ACCA – Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, A Summer of American Masters with Robert Indiana in KM fine Arts gallery, Chicago, Boston University Art Gallery – BUAG, Boston, Michigan A Voyage of Growth and Discovery at Sculpture Center, New York, Mobile Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and participation in Whitney Biennial, New York City, NY in 2012. His works are included in many private and public collections such as Museum of Modern Art New York, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tate Gallery in London, Collezione Maramotti, in Italy, Broad Collection and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, to name a few.

Kelley lived and worked in various places in Los Angeles, among them the Farley Building in Eagle Rock.


  1. John Welchman K. et all, Mike Kelley: Interviews, Conversations, and Chit-Chat (1986-2004), JRP|Ringier (2005)
  2. Finkel L., Mike Kelley dies at 57; L.A. contemporary artist, Los Angeles Times Magazine [December 14,2016]
  3. Cotter H., Mike Kelley, an Artist With Attitude, Dies at 57, The New York Times [December 14,2016]

Featured image: Mike Kelley – Untitled (detail). 29 67/100 × 17 67/100 in. 75.4 × 44.9 cm. Photo courtesy Kavi Gupta Gallery
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017KandorsVenus, Los AngelesSolo
2016David Hammons & Mike KelleySimon Lee Gallery , LondonGroup
2016Nude:From Modigliani to CurrinGagosian, New YorkGroup
2016Memory WaveHauser & Wirth, New YorkSolo
2016Shaped PaintingsSkarstedt, LondonSolo
2016Framed and FrameHauser & Wirth, LondonSolo
2015Mike KelleyHauser & Wirth, New YorkSolo
2014Mike KelleyThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Take It Or Leave It: Institution, Image, IdeologyUCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014The Undulation of Something Faintly FamiliarThe Company, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014High Performance. Die Julia Stoschek Collection Zu Gast Im Zkm. Zeitbasierte Medienkunst Seit 1996ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2014No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989David Zwirner, Inc., New York City, NYGroup
2014Set in MotionThe Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Petach TikvaGroup
2014Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary ArtSanta Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CAGroup
2013The Temptation of AA BronsonWitte de With Center for Contemporary Art, RotterdamGroup
2013The Mediterranean Experience: The Mediterranean as a spatial paradigm for the circulation of ideas and meaningMMCA Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, ThessalonikiGroup
2013Eternity is a Long TimeHangar Bicocca | spazio d’arte contemporanea, MilanSolo
2013Scheitern - so many ways to failGalerie Wagner + Partner, BerlinGroup
2013Blind CountryFreedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013Soft PicturesFondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, TurinGroup
2013Mínima resistenciaMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MadridGroup
2013The Show Is OverGagosian Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Anamericana: On View At The AcademyAmerican Academy in Rome Gallery, RomeGroup
2013Comic FutureBallroom Marfa, Marfa, TXGroup
2013RegionalismSalzburger Kunstverein, SalzburgGroup
2013B.A.B.E - The Best Artists Books and EditorsImmanence, espace d'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2013Mobile Homestead and Goin' Home: Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead Videos and DocumentationMuseum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MISolo
2013Trko- Trienal Of Contemporary PaintingKunsthalle Kosice, KosiceGroup
2013Murdered OutSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013Mike KelleyCentre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, ParisSolo
2013Mike Kelley / Paul Mccarthy, HeidiCenter for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, KitakyushuGroup
2013Why not live for Art? II - 9 collectors reveal their treasuresTokyo Opera City Art Gallery, TokyoGroup
2013Mostly West: Franz West and Artist CollaborationsInverleith House, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2013Works From A Private CollectionJerome Zodo Contemporary, MilanGroup
2013Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophyFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2013Everyday Epiphanies - Photography and Daily Life Since 1969The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013The Cat ShowWhite Columns, New York City, NYGroup
2013The Art Of Not MakingHå gamle prestegard, NærbøGroup
2013The System of ObjectsDeste Foundation -, AthensGroup
2013A Tribute To Franz WestGalerie Philipp Konzett, ViennaGroup
20131980's RevisitedSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013Beg, Borrow and StealPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2013Nyc 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No StarNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013Franz West: The Viennese FriendMMCA Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, ThessalonikiGroup
2013A World of Wild DoubtKunstverein in Hamburg, HamburgGroup
2012This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2012End Of Summer (2012)IKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2012A Tribute To Mike KelleyMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012To beauty: A Tribute to Mike KelleyFrost Art Museum, Miami, FLSolo
2012Memory Ware FlatsSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYSolo
2012Mike Kelley 1954-2012The Watermill Center, Watermill, NYSolo
2012Mike Kelley - VideosWako Works of Art, TokyoSolo
2012FunnyFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2012Blind CutMarlborough Chelsea, New York City, NYGroup
2012Spelling The ImageMarc Jancou Contemporary, New York City, NYGroup
2012Whitney Biennial 2012Whitney Biennial, New York City, NYGroup
2012i surrenderDevening Projects + Editions, Chicago, ILGroup
2012Hidden StoriesKAI 10 Raum für Kunst , DusseldorfGroup
2012A House Full Of Music - Strategien In Musik Und KunstMathildenhöhe, DarmstadtGroup
2012In The Waiting RoomSimon Lee Gallery, LondonGroup
2012The Floor Show: Gravity and MaterialsGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CAGroup
2012From Death to Death and Other Small Tales | Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the D.DaskScottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2012Lost (in La)Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012The Fabricated ObjectSumarria Lunn, LondonGroup
2012Art, science & fictionMAC's Grand Hornu, Musée des Arts Contemporains, HornuGroup
2012This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980sICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, LondonGroup
2012This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980sICA - Institute of Contemporary ArtBoston, Boston, MAGroup
2012Digital Life. Human ConnectionsMACRO Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Roma, RomeGroup
2012The White Male Complex, No.1SAVVY Contemporary Berlin, BerlinGroup
2012Language GamesCentro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2012Using Photography - 1960s and 1970s Conceptual PhotographyMichael Lowe Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2011Patrick Painter EditionsPatrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CAGroup
2011Mike Kelley: Day is DoneUMMA - The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MISolo
2011Mike Kelley: Exploded Fortress of SolitudeGagosian Gallery, LondonSolo
2011Destroy All Monsters : Hungry For Death: Destroy All MonstersBoston University Art Gallery - BUAG, Boston, MASolo
2011Destroy All Monsters : Return Of The Repressed: Destroy All Monsters, 1973-1977Prism, West Hollywood, CASolo
2011American exuberanceRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2011Take me to your leaderBergen Kunstmuseum, BergenGroup
2011Let the Healing BeginIMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLDGroup
2011Made in ItalyGagosian Gallery, RomeGroup
2011A Summer of American Masters with Robert IndianaKM fine Arts, Chicago, ILGroup
2011The Spectacular of VernacularContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2011Rear Window Brought To You In High-defPatrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CAGroup
2011Hauntings – Ghost Box MediaKunstverein Medienturm, GrazGroup
2011Atlas. How to carry the world on one's back?Deichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgGroup
2011Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Digital Life. Human ConnectionsMACRO Testaccio (MACRO Future), RomeGroup
2010Medium: PhotographyPatrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, CAGroup
2010Destroy All Monsters : The creme filled palace or it melts in your mind, not in your mouthGalerie 1m3, LausanneSolo
2010CrashGagosian Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Pop Life - Warhol, Haring, Koons, HirstHamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2010Collect With UsArmand Bartos Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2010Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldNational Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ONGroup
2010Gestures & ProceduresACCA - Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, VICGroup
2010Meet Me InsideGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CAGroup
2010Childish ThingsFruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2010Destroy All Monsters : Hungry for DeathAMP, AthensGroup
2010Take Me To Your Leader! The Great Escape Into SpaceThe Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, OsloGroup
2010Just love meMUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, LuxembourgGroup
2010The Last NewspaperNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
2010Push and PullMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaGroup
2010Keeping it Real: An Exhibition in 4 Acts: Act 2: Subversive AbstractionWhitechapel Art Gallery, LondonGroup
2009Mike Kelley - Educational Complex Onwards, 1995-2008MUSEION - Museum für moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst , BolzanoSolo
2009Something else!!!!MAN - Museo d`Arte di Nuoro, NuoroGroup
2009The Puppet ShowFrye Art Museum, Seattle, WAGroup
2009SONIC YOUTH etc.: Sensational FixMalmö Konsthall, MalmöGroup
2009Emotional CommunityMonitor, RomeGroup
2009Ecstatic AbbstractionGagosian Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Photographs/SculpturesWako Works of Art, TokyoSolo
2009Dance with Camera ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2009A Voyage of Growth and DiscoverySculptureCenter, New York City, NYGroup
2009Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldTate Modern, LondonGroup
2009California MaximalismNyehaus, New York City, NYGroup
2009Beg Borrow and StealRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2009All Creatures Great and SmallZacheta, National Gallery of Art, WarsawGroup
2009Mike Kelley - Horizontal Tracking ShotsGagosian Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2008Order. Desire. Light. An exhibition of contemporary drawingsIrish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA, DublinGroup
2008Beyond the lensGalerie Dominique Fiat, ParisGroup
2008PrefabGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYGroup
2008The Puppet ShowSanta Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008The Great Transformation - Kunst und taktische MagieFrankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/MainGroup
2008Less is less, more is more, that’s allCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
2008Painting Now and Forever Part IIThe Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Text/Messages: Books by ArtistsWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2008Close UpFruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2008(NO) VACANCYGalleria Maze, TurinGroup
2008Faces and Figures (Revisited)Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York City, NYGroup
2008Fair MarketRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Mike Kelley - Educational Complex Onwards: 1995 - 2007WIELS - Centrum voor Hedendaagse kunst, BrusselsSolo
2008Fair MarketRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Into Me, Out of MeMACRO Testaccio (MACRO Future), RomeGroup
2007Make Your Own Life - Artists in & out of CologneHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2007Mike Kelley - Hermaphrodite DrawingsGagosian Gallery, LondonSolo
2007Memory Ware FlatsSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYSolo
2007Sequence 1Palazzo Grassi, Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2007Mike Kelley, Kandor Con 2000Jablonka Galerie - Köln, CologneSolo
2007Eyes Wide Open – New to the Stedelijk & The Monique Zajfen CollectionStedelijk Museum CS, AmsterdamGroup
2007Come, come, come into my worldEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2007Fit To Print: Printed Media In CollageGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYGroup
2007Substance & SurfaceBortolami, New York City, NYGroup
2006Partial RecallLehmann Maupin, New York City, NYGroup
2006Make Your Own Life - Artists In & Out of CologneThe Power Plant, Toronto, ONGroup
2006THE 1980s - A TOPOLOGYMuseu Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, PortoGroup
2006Sound & VisionMuseo della Città, PerugiaGroup
2006A Handful Of DustAnthony Reynolds Gallery, LondonGroup
2006School of Hard KnocksMonte Clark Gallery - Vancouver, Vancouver, BCGroup
2006Without Boundary - Seventeen Ways of LookingMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2006The Line of BeautyKathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2006Made in USAGalerie de multiples - GDM, ParisGroup
2006Into me / Out of meMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2006On Second ThoughtPerry Rubenstein Gallery - 527 West 23 Street, New York City, NYGroup
2005Likeness: Portraits of Artists by Other ArtistsUAM - University Art Museum, Long Beach, CAGroup
2005Mixed-Up ChildhoodAuckland Art Gallery, AucklandGroup
2005Realm Of The SensesJames Cohan Gallery - New York, New York City, NYGroup
2005With us against reality, or against us!Gallery S.E., BergenGroup
2005Looking at WordsAndrea Rosen Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Self PortraitsSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2005Mike Kelley - Day is DoneGagosian Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2005Drunk vs. StonedGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2005Trials and TerrorsMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2005At the Mercy of Others: The Politics of CareWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
2005The Final Floor ShowObjectif exhibitions, AntwerpGroup
2005Urban CocktailWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2004Drafting DeceitApexart, New York City, NYGroup
2004White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary ArtICP - International Center of Photography, New York City, NYGroup
2004Mike Kelley - Das UnheimlicheMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaSolo
2004An International Legacy - Selections from Carnegie of ArtNevada Museum of Art NMA, Reno, NVGroup
2004Likeness - Portraits of Artists by Other ArtistsCCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004Just love meFries Museum, LeeuwardenGroup
2004AnimalsHaunch of Venison, LondonGroup
2004Planet BBregenzer Kunstverein, BregenzGroup
2004I Am The Wrath Of GodUnit 54/5th floor Regents Studios, LondonGroup
2004The UncannyTate Liverpool, LiverpoolSolo
2004The Pattern PlaybackThe Moore Space, Miami, FL (closed, 2008)Group
2004WOW (The Work of the Work)Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2004Realm of the SensesJames Cohan Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Video ArtCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, TurinGroup
2003DrawingsMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2003Video Acts…ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, LondonGroup
2003OutlookBenaki Museum, AthensGroup
2003Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtBrooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TNGroup
2003Self-portraits & portraitsWako Works of Art, TokyoGroup
2003False InnocenceFundación Joan Miró, BarcelonaGroup
2003Stunt - Video WorksTennis Palace, HelsinkiGroup
2003LegacyAnthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2002Reversals, Recyclings, Completions, and Late EditionsMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2002Mike Kelley - Selected works 1982-1990Skarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYSolo
2001Mike Kelley - Memory Ware Jablonka Galerie - Köln, CologneSolo
2000Unisex Love NestGalerie Daniel Buchholz - Köln, CologneSolo
2000Categorical Imperative and MorgueStedelijk Van Abbemuseum, EindhovenSolo
1999Mike Kelley - MAGASINCentre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, GrenobleSolo
1997Mike Kelley; Paul McCarthy; Bruce Nauman; Franz WestStedelijk Van Abbemuseum, EindhovenGroup
1997Mike Kelley. 1985-1996Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, BarcelonaSolo
1995Mike Kelley - Katholische VorliebenHaus der Kunst München, MunichSolo
1995Mike Kelley - toward a utopian arts complexMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
199413 New Untitled Black and White PhotographsMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1993Catholic tastesWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYSolo
1993Mike Kelley - catholic tastesLos Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CASolo
1992Mike Kelley: Works 1979-1991ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, LondonSolo
1992Mike Kelley: The Riddle of the Spinx and PansyMetal/Clovered HoofThe Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PASolo
1989Mike Kelley - Pansy Metal / Clovered HoofsMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1988Mike Kelley - Three Projects: Half a Man, From My Institution to Yours, and Pay for Your PleasureThe Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
1986Plato's Cave, Rothko's Chapel, Lincoln's ProfileMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1982Mike Kelley - Monkey Island and ConfusionMetro Pictures Gallery, New York City, NYSolo