Mike Kelley’s Final Vision

Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Corine Vermeulen, courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit

After years on the lam in Detroit, the last work of the late artist is finally complete.

When Mike Kelley, whom The New York Times called “one of the most influential American artists of the past quarter century,” committed suicide last year at 57, he left a major project unfinished: the Mobile Homestead, based on his childhood home. The porch on wheels (in front of the abandoned Michigan Central Station) made its debut in 2010, touring much of Detroit and visiting the Kelleys’ original home in the Westland suburb before returning to the city—a symbolic reversal of the white flight of the 1960s. Kelley envisioned the Mobile Homestead joining a full-sized replica of the Kelley home to form a permanent community center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, with a $150,000 grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, intends to complete his vision. It will open to the public on May 11, says mocad curator of education Katie McGowan, “with installations and a free lending library, followed in subsequent months by an ad-hoc bike repair center, concerts and other neighbor-initiated presentations.” At 4454 Woodward Ave.; mocadetroit.org.