Greetings From Kandor! Capital of Krypton!
By Robin Pogrebin
The artist Mike Kelley may be most closely associated with the sculptures he made out of hand dolls and stuffed animals — ostensibly cheerful objects suffused with the sadness of his short life, given that he committed suicide in 2012 at 57.
But Mr. Kelley was also taken by the DC Comics of his youth and, before his death, had started a series that explored the fictional planet Krypton, where Superman was born before his parents rocketed him to Earth.
According to the early comics, the villain Brainiac shrunk the planet’s capital city of Kandor and preserved the miniature metropolis under glass. Mr. Kelley’s “Kandor Project” sculptures — made between 1999 and 2011 — each include a custom-built base, a cast-resin cityscape and a handblown glass bottle that fits over the model.
Now, the gallery Venus Over Manhattan is showing four of the Kandors — and their associated projections and light boxes — from 2007. (Through Jan. 28; venusovermanhattan.com.)