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    Sale 1970

    Post-War And Contemporary First Open

    1 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 71

    Mike Kelley (b. 1954)

    They See God (Stained Glass Mattress)

    Price Realised  


    Mike Kelley (b. 1954)
    They See God (Stained Glass Mattress)
    felt collage on fitted sheet over mattress
    11 x 60 x 80 in. (27.9 x 152.4 x 203.2 cm.)
    Executed in 1989.

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    They See God (Stained Glass Mattress), expresses a manifestation of sexual desire veiled with an idealized representation of Catholicism; the stained glass window. The mattress is an obvious symbol of the corporeal act of sex but Mike Kelley cloaks it in panes of colorful fabric, recalling sacred stained glass windows but subverting this idea with a secular joyful color matrix. In this way Kelley subverts the Church's doctrine of sex only for procreation and the repression of sex for pleasure by the use of its own symbol.

    Special Notice

    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Metro Pictures, New York
    Pat Hearn Gallery, New York
    Jablonka Galerie, Cologne


    J. Welchman, I. Graw and A. Vidler, Mike Kelley, London, 1999. p. 77 (illustrated).


    Los Angeles, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Mike Kelley, 1990.
    Vienna, Galerie Peter Pakesch, Mike Kelley, September-October 1989. Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Zeitsprünge: Künstlerische Positionen der 80er Jahre, January-February 1993, p. 34 (illustrated).