Modern Art Oxford presents Life, Belief and Beyond, the first posthumous exhibition of works by the highly acclaimed and influential artist Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945–2014). Life, Belief and Beyond focuses on Finn-Kelcey’s explorations of power, performance, political commentary, and perceptions of the self, belief and spirituality.
The exhibition presents works from the early 1970s to 2014, including Divided Self (Speaker’s Corner), 1974; The Restless Image: a discrepancy between the seen position and the felt position, 1975; Glory, 1983; Bureau de Change, 1987; and It Pays to Pray, 1999. These examples of Finn-Kelcey’s diverse and exacting practice are presented alongside photographs, collage, performance documentation, sketches in progress and preparatory material – never before exhibited.
Finn-Kelcey’s work is conceptually powerful, profound and is characterised by a dry wit that belies the formidable intelligence and deep humanity that drove her practice. A central figure in the performance and feminist art scene in Britain for over four decades, her work is intimately concerned with social dialogue, populism, activism, and how these tools of communication intersect with complex systems of power.
Finn-Kelcey’s far-reaching influence on conceptual art in the 1970s and ‘80s extended locally, to the generation of YBAs (Young British Artists) in the ’90s as she began to realise large-scale and technically complex installations.
Avant-garde in her ideas both in art and politics, Finn-Kelcey’s endlessly inventive practice demonstrates the artist’s interest in creating socio-political statements with a visually arresting quality, often object-based, frequently combining her creative investigations with contemporary technologies.
Life, Belief and Beyond is a celebration of Finn-Kelcey’s work and pays tribute to her extraordinary practice and influence.