Mary Kelly, a distinguished artist, scholar and educator, will join the USC faculty this fall as a Judge Widney Professor.
According to USC News, Kelly will be the first fine artist and the first woman to be honored as a Judge Widney Professor. Named after USC’s founder Judge Robert Maclay Widney, the title is reserved for exemplary individuals from the arts, sciences, humanities, business and leadership fields.
Kelly is known for her project-based work surrounding topics such as sexuality, identity and historical memory in the form of large-scale narrative installations. According to USC News, her works have influenced the evolution and critique of conceptual art. Her early arts, which explores the mother-child relationship through a series of works focused on war, and her most recent work on intergenerational history have driven and informed discourse surrounding feminism and postmodernism art.
As a Widney Professor of Art, Kelly will join the Roski School of Art and Design faculty to mentor and educate Roski students. Previously, she held a 21-year tenure as a distinguished professor of art and critical theory at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Kelly’s work has been exhibited at MOCA Los Angeles, MOCA Chicago, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Whitney Museum in New York and more. Her work as also been featured in international exhibitions such as The Whitney Biennial, The Biennale of Sydney and documenta 12.
Kelly is acclaimed for her theoretical writings on art. Her published works include Imaging Desire and Post-Partum Document. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and honorary doctorates from the University of Wolverhampton, in England and Lund University in Sweden.