Mary Reid Kelley (b. 1979, Greenville, South Carolina, USA) combines painting, performance, and a distinctive wordplay-rich poetry in her polemical, graphically stylised videos. Performing as a First World War soldier, a grisette in revolutionary Paris, or the Minotaur, she resurrects characters that embody particular facets of ideas in time. Her historically specific tableaux enclose dilemmas of mortality, sex, and estrangement, navigated by the characters in punning dialogue that traps them between tragic and comic meanings.
She received her BFA from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and an MFA in Painting from Yale University in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include: Mary Reid Kelley: Swinburne’s Pasiphae, Pilar Corrias, London (2014); Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz; University Art Museum, University at Albany, New York (2014); Mary Reid Kelley, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2013); Sadie, The Saddest Sadist and Priapus Agonistes, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (2013); The Syphilis of Sisyphus: Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley, AMOA Arthouse, Austin (2013); The Syphilis of Sisyphus, The Box at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus. Recent group exhibitions include: Mary Reid Kelley and Maria Lassnig, Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts (2014); Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from the Alumni Collections, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin (2013); Re-generation, MACRO, Rome (2012);Weighted Words, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2012); Rear View Mirror, Space B, New York (2012). She was awarded the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2014); Tiffany Foundation 2013 Biennial Grant (2014); The Shifting Foundation Grant (2012); Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome (2011); the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2009); and a CAA Visual Arts Fellowship (2008). Mary Reid Kelley is represented by Pilar Corrias, London; Fredericks & Freiser, New York and Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Forthcoming in 2015 include Pratfall Tramps, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and Hammer Projects: Mary Reid Kelley, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.