Ann Greene Kelly’s objects and drawings consider the relationship between the human body and its surrounding architecture. Her assemblage sculptures meld vernacular materials and everyday objects (often furniture), making them uncanny and nonfunctional. She builds distance into how we recognize domestic objects—chairs, mattresses, or pieces of clothing—by rendering them in plaster or stone and shifting their scale. Kelly orchestrates a delicate estrangement between sculpture and the objects it quotes. Her drawings are diaristic and similarly fantastical, serving as narrative continuations of the sculptures.
Kelly’s sculpture is inspired by disparate aspects of The Huntington’s collection, specifically the intricately carved drapery of Harriet Goodhue Hosmer’s marble sculpture Zenobia in Chains (1859) and the Arts and Crafts furniture, particularly the chairs designed by Pasadena’s Greene & Greene firm, on display nearby. In this new work by Kelly, a table and leaning chairs are draped with fabric that conceals the shapes of the objects, making them appear mostly as bumps or folds. Their tilted arrangement activates the anthropomorphized form, imparting a sense of movement to inanimate objects.
In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist's work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Ann Greene Kelly's work on view at the Hammer.
Ann Greene Kelly was born in 1988 in New York City. She received a BA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work comprises objects and drawings, both invested in the relationship of human bodies to their surrounding architecture. Her sculptures are melded assemblages of vernacular materials and everyday objects (often furniture) that create uncanny, nonfunctional, and narrative compilations. She builds distance into how we recognize domestic objects—for example, chairs, mattresses, or pieces of clothing—by rendering them in plaster or stone. In this way she orchestrates a delicate estrangement between the sculptures and the objects they quote. Details such as a grid or a road are sometimes carved and painted inside the works, proposing a shift in scale as well as the possibility of other smaller universes inset within the larger sculptures. Her drawings are diaristic and similarly fantastical, serving as narrative continuations of the sculptures. In 2019 Kelly showed a new body of work at Michael Benevento Gallery in Los Angeles as well as at Chapter in New York. In early 2020 she presented a project room at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the traveling Ree Morton retrospective.