Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
16 Dec 2005 to 05 Mar 2006
This major exhibition was the largest exhibition of work by Edward and Nancy Reddin Keinholz in Australia and the UK since 1971. Arranged into ten rooms across the MCA’s Level 3 galleries, the exhibition brought together pieces from 1963 through to 2005, including four pieces from the JW Power Collection, managed by the MCA.
Ed Keinholz, born in America in 1927, rose to prominence in the city of Los Angeles at the time of the Beat era, a rapidly developing scene later associated with the beginnings of Pop Art. Keinholz emerged as a painter and sculptor creating socially conscious art with a unique force and directness. His tableaux and environments from this time are now recognised as some of the earliest, and most remarkable, examples of installation art.
In 1972 Kienholz developed a lifelong collaborative partnership with Nancy Reddin, who continued to make work after his death in 1994. In contrast to the packaged soup cans and shiny new surfaces associated with the Pop Art of Warhol and Lichtenstein, these installations and sculptures incorporate used personal items laced with memory, such as old photographs and pieces of torn cloth, which give the work a shocking intensity, and confront the issues a society might choose to ignore, or shy away from. Their extraordinary ability to implicate and compel the viewer to bear witness was their legacy to the new generation.
KIENHOLZ was presented at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK from 14 May – 29 August 2005.