The Fabric Workshop and Museum Presents:Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: Blood Moon
Philadelphia, PA, August 13, 2021— The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to present Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: Blood Moon, on view from September 24, 2021 through February 20, 2022. As the culmination of the artists’ two-year residency, the exhibition will debut a new body of work created in collaboration with FWM synthesizing performance, immersive installation, drawings, and sculpture across two floors of the museum.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley are celebrated for video works featuring a distinctively graphic black-and-white palette and scripted narratives in rhyming verse full of punning wordplay by characters brought to life onscreen by Mary. Centered around two new film works—Blood Moon and I’m Jackson Pollock—the exhibition explores the mechanics of power and its fallibility, each film presented in an immersive world and experienced through a darkly funny lens.
“We are so pleased to have been able to collaborate with Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley on this thought-provoking project while overcoming the challenges posed by pandemic protocols,” explained FWM Executive Director Christina Vassallo. “Working with them to reveal their artistic process that has, historically, not been made available to the public aligns perfectly with our new mission of collaborating with artists to reveal new possibilities.”
In this world they have created, Mary and Patrick explore the nature of human relations in films where all of the characters have pumpkin heads—an ironically comedic twist that belies the violence of this imagined world in films grappling with the complexities and limits of desire. The first film of the exhibition, Blood Moon, explores interpersonal relationships in a scene inspired by Lennie and Curly’s Wife from John Steinbeck’s seminal 1937 novella, Of Mice and Men. What initially appears as an exchange between new lovers takes a turn for the tragic and results in the gruesome yet comic end for our protagonists. The second, a monologue work titled I’m Jackson Pollock, brings to life the bombastic character embodiment of societal power, callowly hurling boastful claims in rhyming verse. The immersive installation is populated with props, sculptures, and projections that fill the world developed by the artists.
To accompany the exhibition, FWM will publish a fully-illustrated catalogue designed by Purtill Family Business with essays by project curator Alec Unkovic; Jackie Murray, Associate Professor of Classics in the Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department at the University of Kentucky; Kathy Noble, Senior Curator & Head of Curatorial Affairs at Performa; Jenelle Porter, independent curator and former Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Robert Storr, curator, scholar, and Artistic Director of the 52nd Venice Biennale; Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance) at Tate Modern; and a foreword by Christina Vassallo.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: Blood Moon has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. This project has also been supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Artists
The collaborative work of Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, SITE Santa Fe, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. European solo exhibitions include Tate Liverpool, Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum M, Leuven, Studio Voltaire, and Neuer Kunstverein Wien. Their video work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, W Magazine, La Reppublica, Vogue, The New Yorker, Artforum, Flash Art, Frieze, ARTnews, and Art in America. Mary and Patrick live and work in upstate New York.
Mary Reid Kelley earned a BA from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Yale University. She is a MacArthur Fellow and has received awards from the American Academy in Rome, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the College Art Association. Major exhibitions include the Baltimore Museum of Art, SITE Santa Fe, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and MUDAM, Luxembourg.
Patrick Kelley earned a BA from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a recipient of the McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship and has received awards from the Jerome Foundation and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. His works have shown at the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information-Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Mykonos Bienniale, Athens International Film and Video Festival, and the Académie de France à Rome.
Contact: Abby Addams