As much as art criticism can be defined by rules, there is one rule that has proven fail-safe: Be skeptical of any exhibition that comes with a soundtrack taken from the haunted house attraction at an amusement park. Ambient drones, scattered voices (sometimes intelligible, often not), the generalized rustle of forces knocking about—leaven them with an underlay of rock music and imbue the proceedings with mood lighting, and you can wager that the resulting objet d’art is impossibly portentous. That it should also be of minimal aesthetic value is likely—or so one would think. But “Mike Kelley,” a thirty-year overview of the California-based artist’s work now on view in Queens at MOMA PS1, is the exception that proves the rule. That is, at least, the verdict of Holland Cotter at The New York Times. He writes that the exhibition is “a huge show that...


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