Kelley Walker Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Kelley Walker
Black Star Press


Triptych, silkscreened white & chocolate on digital print on canvas

213.4 x 264.2 cm

Using the potency of advertising media, Kelley Walker’s prints appropriate iconic cultural images, digitally altering them to highlight underlying issues of politics and consumerism. In Black Star Press, Walker presents large-scale billboard-like canvases of racial unrest. Set at 90 degree angles, the images of a white policeman and black youth literally portray a world turned on end. Splattered with abstracted patterns in symbolic white and chocolate, Walker’s gestures mimic violence and contrast, merging ethical corruption and graffiti pop. Printed as a dyptich, Black Star Press is desensitised through repetition, replicating the multiplicity of mass media as vast fields of anesthetised brutality.

Kelley Walker


Car Windshield

Dimensions variable

Set on the gallery floor as the aftermath of a fatal wreck, Kelley Walker’s Untitled evokes disturbing narratives. Encapsulating beauty and horror, the twisted and smashed windshield takes on a formalist intrigue and decorative desirability, as slivered glass gleans as diamond dust and amoeba-like splotches of paint glow with ornamental celebration. As with all accident scenes, the chilling truth lies in the forensic evidence: coated with candy coloured stains, Walker’s untitled portrays a head-on collision with something abstract and seductive, a deadly force with all the frivolous characteristics of Pop.

Kelley Walker
He tried to become so familiar with his equipment that using it became as automatic as driving a car


CD Rom and Poster on canvas

7 x 9 ft

Authorship and authenticity are primary concerns within Kelley Walker’s work. Hijacking material from the public domain, Kelley further complicates the everyday transaction of images, converting the banality of information media into instances of sublime horror. In He tried to become so familiar with his equipment that using it became as automatic as driving a car, Kelley enlarges a political advertisement to grand scale, converting the original press photo cum propaganda into a fiction, removed from context one step too far. Spattering the image with abstracted puddles of electric blue, Walker turns castastrophe and instigation of protest into video game violence, portraying the morbid pastime of an unseen super-villain. Drawing allusions to terrorism, Walker highlights a more subtle threat: the potency of media as both cause and symptom of anxiety and instability.

Kelley Walker
We joked that under the pavings stones there was gold


CD Rom and Poster on canvas

7 X 9 ft

Extending beyond ad-busting, Kelley Walker’s computerised images don’t target specific institutions or causes, but rather critically expose the constant state of anxiety within contemporary culture. We Joked That Under The Paving Slabs There Was Gold turns innocuous folly into apocalyptic nightmare. Starting with an anti-capitalist poster that radically subverts the interpretation of disaster, Walker intervenes with a no-holds-barred addition to the dread. Mal-construing the poster’s invitation to ‘explore interspatial relationships’, Walker fills the gaps of the pictured road collapse with a river of toxic orange: encompassing the title’s pursuit of riches and the advertisement’s violent message into a supernatural Armageddon, rendered with trippy day-glo seduction.

Kelley Walker


CD Rom and Poster on canvas

7 x 9 ft

Using the famous Maui air crash photo which appeared on the cover of Benetton’s magazine Colours in 1995, Kelley Walker explores the currency of media images as a platform where abjection and desire become indistinguishable. Obscuring the picture with a mesh of candy-coloured dots, Walker visualises the clothing company’s ‘united colours’ slogan, and makes reference to the pixelised format of digital media. Maui is both appealing and appalling: exposing the malleable nature of the meaning of images, Walker questions a world order where human value is calibrated equally by fashion and trauma.

Kelley Walker
Marantz Model 6300 With Yellow Stripe


CD Rom and Poster on board

213 x 274 cm

Combining the Zen of advertising with the metaphysical qualities of abstract painting, Kelley Walker’s Marantz Model… encapsulates an uneasy spiritualism of a lost generation. Overlaying a 70s advert for a stereo classic with geometric patterns, Walker sets consumer product as the basis of escapism. Cutting through the centre with a translucent yellow band, and obscuring the turntable with a psychedelic pattern, Walker makes reference to Barnett Newman’s transcendental colourfields, and the mandalas used in Buddhist meditation, reducing both to a concept of design. Rendered through computer manipulation, Walker’s iconic image is manufactured and hollow; a sentiment echoed in the stereo’s instruction label reading ‘auto shut off’.

Kelley Walker
schema; Aquafresh plus Crest with Whitening Expressions (Regina Hall)


CD Rom; scanned image and toothpaste; digital poster on archival paper

10 x 8 ft

Using the cover of African-American lads’ mag King, Kelley Walker gives consumerist response to media provocation. Succumbing to the temptations of Hollywood beauty Regina Hall, Walker offers his enduring lust in the form of lewd and raunchy ‘splatter painting’. Drawing ironic entendres from the humorous Pollock reference, Walker’s expressionism is actually made from squirting popular brands of toothpaste over the image, then scanning it into his computer. Raising complex issues of race, gender, body image, and representation, Walker offers one abject product to counter another, rendering them both infinitely more appealing.

Kelley Walker
schema; Aquafresh plus Crest with Whitening Expressions (Trina)


CD Rom; scanned image and toothpaste; digital poster on archival paper

10 x 8 ft

Kelley Walker ‘s schema... recodes the interpretation of media. Using the front cover of King magazine, a publication vocal in its support of curvaceous women (rather than the mainstream too-thin ideal) as a proactive statement, Walker bathes hip-hop diva Trina in a variety of dental products (promising extra whitening effects). Using wry humour, Walker examines the underlying politics of ethnic and sexual representation as marketing strategies. Printing his digitised photos onto traditional canvases, Kelley Walker frames the disposable transience of advertising in the realm of high art; the immediacy of his images gains momentum as objects of critical contemplation, and lasting icons of social representation.

Kelley Walker's Biography

Kelley Walker
Born in 1969, Columbus, Georgia
Lives and works in New York


Kelley Walker, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK
Front Room: GuytonWalker, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Kelley Walker, Capitain Petzel, Berlin, Germany
Whitney on Site: New Commissions Downtown: GuytonWalker, Whitney
Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Kelley Walker, Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin, Germany
GuytonWalker, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, NY
GuytonWalker, Air de Paris, Paris, France
Kelley Walker and Steven Claydon, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy

Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
Kelley Walker, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium
Billboards: GuytonWalker, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA
GuytonWalker, curated by Andrea Viliani, MAMbo–Museo d’Arte Moderna di
Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Kelley Walker, Le Magasin–Centre National dʼArt Contemporain, Grenoble,
France; travelling to WIELS–Centre d’art Contemporain,Brussels, Belgium
I am Scared of America (with Erik van Lieshout), Museum De Hallen Haarlem,Haarlem, The Netherlands
Mario Diacono Gallery at Ars Libri, Brookline, MA
Kelley Walker, Continuous Project (with Seth Price), Modern Art Oxford, curated by Suzanne Cotter, Oxford, UK

Kelley Walker, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels, Belgium
Black Star Press, Power House Memphis, Memphis, TN
Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston Fly on Braniff (When you got it, flaunt it.), Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
GuytonWalker: Empire Strikes Back, Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Kelley Walker, La Salle de Bains, Lyon, France
The Faliever of Judgement, Part III, (GuytonWalker), Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, NY

The Faliever of Judgement, (GuytonWalker), presented by Greene Naftali Gallery, Reinschau, Cologne
XXXXX BBB XXXXXFFFFFF FFFF, (GuytonWalker), Midway Contemporary, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN

Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY


The 2011 Bridgehampton Biennial, (GuytonWalker), organized by Bob Nickas, Jose Martos Gallery, Sagaponack, NY
The Boy Who Robbed You A Few Minutes Before Arriving At The Ball, curated by Regina Fiorito and Kelley Walker, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Germany
I don't know if it makes any sense – I feel quite dizzy and a little drunk due to the blow. I will return with more info shortly..., (GuytonWalker), curated by Howie Chen and Tim Saltarelli, IMO, Copenhagen, Denmark
Good Friends, (GuytonWalker), Asia Song Society, New York, NY
Street Trash, (GuytonWalker), 1-800-GO-PENSKE, Brooklyn, NY
Catalogue of the Exhibition, curated by Bob Nickas, Triple V, Paris, France
After Images, curated by Fionn Meade, Musée Juif de Belgique, Brussels,Belgium
That’s The Way We Do It, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria
A Painting Show, (GuytonWalker), Autocenter, Berlin, Germany
The Luminous Interval, (GuytonWalker), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
Keeping It Real: Act 4, Material Intelligence, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation
Contemporary Drawings Collection, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Image Transfer, Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana ,traveling to Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture. Baltimore, MD
Looking at Music 3.0, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Castle, CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
3 Instructions, organized by Anne Pontegnie, École de Recherche Graphique, Brussels, Belgium
Dwelling, (GuytonWalker), Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY

Group Show, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
Compass In Hand:Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporaray Drawings Collection, Institut ValenciĂ  d'Art Modern, Valencia,Spain
Born in Dystopia, Rosenblum Collection & Friends, Paris, France
The Last Newspaper, New Museum, New York, NY
Push and Pull, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
Image Transfer, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
Where Do We Go From here? Selections from Coleccion Jumex, Contemporary Arts Centre, OH
Wait for me at the bottom Of The Pool, curated by Bob Nickas, Jose Martos Gallery, Sagaponack, NY
Picture Industry (Good Bye To All That) organized by Walead Beshty, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Held Up By Columns, Renwick Gallery, New York, NY
At Home/Not At Home: Works from the collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Permanent Mimesis, curated by Alessandro Rabottini, Galleria Civicia d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy
Reprise, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
If My Soul Had a Shape, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
Vertically Integrated Manufacturing, Murray Guy, New York, NY

Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from ColecciĂłn Jumex, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL
Beg, Borrow And Steal, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (Walker and GuytonWalker)
Besides, With, Against and Yet: Abstractin and The Ready-Made Gesture, curated by Deb Singer, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Auto. Sueno Y Materia, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creacion Industrial, Asturias,
Spain (5/15–9/21/09); Madrid, Spain (10/8/09–1/10/10)
Drawing Gifts 2009: 6th Annual Benefit Auction for the Drawing Center, New York, NY
The Secret Life of Objects, Midway Contemporary, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN
Transitions: Painting at the (other) end of art, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Cave Paintings, curated by Bob Nickas, PSM Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Quand la première ivresse des succès bruyants…, Château Guiraud, Sauternes, France
FIVE, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, Russia (Walker and GuytonWalker)
Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYtraveling to Institut ValenciĂ  d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Commentary, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
Every Revolution is a Roll of the Dice, curated by Bob Nickas, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Fare Mondi / Making Worlds, (GuytonWalker), La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Silent Writing, (GuytonWalker), Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
Walead Beshty, Kelley Walker, and Christopher Williams, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, CA

Kunst im Heim, Capitain & Petzel, Berlin, Germany
Anita Molinero/Cady Noland/Steven Parrino/Kelley Walker, Le Spot, Le Havre Centre d’Art Contemporain, France
Trahison, CAPC Bordeaux, France
Here Is Every: Four Decades of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Painting: Now and Forever, Part II, Matthew Marks Gallery and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, NY
Not Quite How I Remember It, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
God is Design, curated by Neville Wakefield, Galpão Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, Brasil
Second Thoughts, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Always There, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
Recent Acquisitions, Gifts, and Works from Various Exhibitions 1985-2008, White Columns, New York, NY
Depositions, curated by Maxwell Graham, Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich, Switzerland
Collage: The Unmonumental Picture, New Museum, New York, NY
Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millenium, (GuytonWalker), curated by Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gunnar Kvaran, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic; Songzhua Art Center, Beijing, China

An Atlas of Events, curated by AntĂłnio Pinto Ribeiro, Debra Singer and Esra Sarigedik Ă–ktem, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
The History of a decade that has not yet been named, Lyon Biennial 2007, Lyon,France
Introvert, Extrovert, Makes No Difference, curated by John Armleder, Galerie Catherine Issert, Saint Paul de Vence, France
NeoIntegrity, curated by Keith Mayerson, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY
Summer Group Show, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Dump: Postmodern Sculpture in the Dissolved Field, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway
Painting as Fact–Fact as Fiction, organized by Bob Nickas, de Pury & Luxembourg, Zürich, Switzerland
A Fair Show: Slang and Cool Orthodoxy, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy
Freelance Stenographer, a collaborative performance and video project by Kelley
Walker and Seth Price, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Op Ed World, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France
The Melvins, curated by Bob Nickas, The Mandrake, Los Angeles, CA
Compulsive, presented by Jalouse at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France ,originated at IAP Art, Miami, Florida
Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, organized by the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art; presented at the National Museum of China, Beijing, China travelling to the Shanghai Musuem, Shanghai, China
Altered States, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud and Paolo Falcone, Fuori Uso 06, Pescara, Italy, travelling to WAX–ex MEO, Budapest, Hungary ; travelling to Galeria Noua and MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millenium, (GuytonWalker), curated by Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gunnar Kvaran, Le Musée du Serignan, Serignan; Herning Art Museum, Herning/Copenhagen; The Centre for Contemporary Art, Zanek, Ujazdowski, Warsaw
For the People of Paris, Sutton Lane–Paris, Paris, France

Planet 22, Geneva, Switzerland
Civil Restitutions, curated by Jeffrey Uslip and Simon Preston, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England
Defamation of Character, organized by Neville Wakefield, PS1 Contemporary Arts, Queens, NY
The Gold Standard, organized Bob Nickas and Walead Beshty, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY
Black/White & Chewing Gum, curated by Gerold Miller, Krobath Wimmer, Vienna, Austria
Shiny: Critical Bling, curated by Helen Molesworth, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
USA Today, Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with The Saatchi Gallery, London, England
An Ongoing Low-Grade Mystery, (GuytonWalker), curated by Bob Nickas, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
Guyton, Price, Smith, Walker, Kunsthalle ZĂĽrich, ZĂĽrich, Switzerland
Deaf: From the Audible to the Visible, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France
Kit-O-Parts, La Salle de Bains (Lyon) at the Centre d’Art de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Grey Flags, curated by Anthony Huberman and Paul Pfeiffer, Sculpture Center,New York, NY travelling to CAPC Museé d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France
Day For Night, Whitney Biennial 2006, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY
Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, curated by Francesco Bonami and Sarah Cosulich Canarutto, Villa Manin Center for Contemporary Art, Passariano, Italy
Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millenium, (GuytonWalker), curated by Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gunnar Kvaran, Serpentine Gallery, London; Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik; The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; Astrup Fearnely Museum for Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
Bring the War Home, (GuytonWalker), QED Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Modern Primitives, (GuytonWalker), Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL

Seriality, Part II, curated by Mark Coetzee for the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL
Pour de Vrai, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy, France
Suspended Narratives, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin,TX
Summer Group Show, curated by David Bussel, Galerie Karin Guenther Nina Borgmann, Hamburg, Germany
Bridge Freezes Before Road, curated by Neville Wakefield, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
Post No Bills, curated by Matthew Higgs, White Columns, New York, NY
Invisible Hands and the Common Good, curated by Walead Beshty, Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
7th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates
Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
Pictures Are the Problem, curated by Walead Beshty, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY
Log Cabin, Artists Space, New York, NY
Situational Prosthetics, New Langton Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Last One On is a Soft Jimmy, curated by Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
The Age of Optimism, curated by Fabrice Stroun, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland
La Lettre Volée, FRAC Franche-Comté, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole, Dole,France
pOp, curated by Vincent PĂ©coil, Galerie Francesca Pia, Bern, Switzerland
Tuesday Is Gone, Club 22, Tbilisi, Georgia
Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, organized by Steve Lafreniere and Bob Nickas, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York Rimbaud, curated by Max Henry, I-20, New York, NY
public.exe: Public Execution, Exit Art, New York, NY
American Idyll, Greene Naftali, New York, NY
So Few the Opportunities, So Many the Mistakes, Champion Fine Art, Brooklyn,NY
Notes on Renewed Appropriationisms, curated by Lauri Firstenberg, The Project, Los Angeles, CA

Le Rayon Noir, Circuit, Lausanne, Switzerland
My People Were Fair and Had Cum in their Hair (but Now They’re Content to Spray Stars from your Boughs), curated by Bob Nickas, Team Gallery, New York, NY
Melvins, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY

Miss Sissel Kardel, Kelley Walker, Assume Vivid Astro Focus (a.k.a. Eli Sudbrack), John Connelly Presents, New York, NY
Painting as Paradox, curated by Lauri Firstenberg, Artists Space, New York, NY
Julie Becker, Padraig Timoney, Kelley Walker, Greene Naftali, New York, NY
Retrofit, curated by Lauri Firstenberg, Lombard Freid Fine Arts, New York, NY
Summer 2002, G Fine Art, Washington, DC.
From the Observatory, curated by Bob Nickas, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

Alpha Flight, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY
Exposition W, curated by Robert Nickas, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole, France
The Bermuda Triangle, Ten in One project space, New York, NY
Group “Spring 2001,” curated by Chivas Clem and Michele Maccarrone, The Fifth International, New York, NY
Infinite Jest, Ten in One Gallery, New York, NY

Answer Yes, No, or Don’t Know, curated by Ricci Albenda, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY