Author: Mike Kelley
Publisher: Hirmer, Jablonka
Kandor is the former capital of the doomed planet of Krypton—and the last surviving vestige of Superman’s destroyed home. Captured and miniaturized by an evil alien nemesis, it is now maintained by Superman under a glass bell in his icy headquarters, the Fortress of Solitude.
Because the image of Kandor was never codified, its depiction in comics has varied greatly over the years. Presenting a group of artworks entitled Kandors, American mixed-media artist Mike Kelley takes up this theme and realizes a number of versions of the imaginary city beneath enormous hand-blown glass bells. In spite of their obvious differences, they all claim to be the same city, showing Kandor to be both a constant and a continually reshaped relic of Superman’s traumatic childhood. Documenting the transformation of two-dimensional comic images into the fantastical sculptures reproduced here, the book chronicles Kelley’s attempts at a work that operates in three dimensions yet preserves the impression of graphic flatness.
Since Superman’s first appearance more than seventy years ago, he has become a full-fledged pop cultural icon, and his devotees will delight in the opportunity to delve deeper into his backstory. Fans of comic books, graphic novels, and contemporary art will also be enchanted by this fascinating look at the show Frieze Magazine called “a visual tour de force, a ghostly yet breathtaking spectacle that leaves gallery-goers feeling as though they’ve landed on another planet.”