Minneapolis, MN, May 20, 2011— Acclaimed Dutch artist Mark Manders is known for his enigmatic and evocative sculptural objects and tableaux. The exhibition Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documented Assignments is the first North American tour of his work, showcasing a new body of sculpture and furthering his monumental Self-Portrait as a Building, a constantly expanding project the artist initiated in 1986. The exhibition runs at the Walker Art Center from June 2 to September 11, 2011.
Part still life, part landscape, Manders’ installations bring together seemingly unrelated elements to construct a distinctive personal iconography—a self-portrait that eschews stories or feelings, yet has “its own will, its own life,” as the artist notes. With each exhibition, Manders generates room upon room of his ever-evolving fictional edifice, creating a psychologically charged space through which we can collectively investigate our own relationship to the world of objects and language.
Manders’ work explores the secret life of objects—how they evolve over time, change forms, and develop new meaning. In his installations, Manders juxtaposes seemingly incongruous elements: furniture and smokestacks, animals and statuary, dishware and bones. Familiar objects—teabags, pencils, sugar—are re-contextualized and become uncanny, strange, and surreal. Manders’ work invites viewers to consider the psychology and mystery behind objects, as well as their relationship to the material world. He explains, “I am interested in the way that objects can generate thoughts, and how an object outside your body can spark what you think.”
Just as poets juxtapose different words to produce emotional or linguistic friction, Manders unites sculptural forms and objects. His desire is to bypass traditional language and create a visual poetry that expresses his relationship with the world. Originally drawn to writing, Manders says he “concluded that making a self-portrait in language was not the right thing to do. The world itself is more complex than the world of language that has been embedded in it.”
About the Artist
Born in 1968,
lives and works in Arnhem, the Netherlands and Ronse, Belgium. He has shown widely in group exhibitions around the world including the Venice Biennale, Documenta, the Berlin Biennal, and the Carnegie International. His solo exhibition The Absence of Mark Manders was shown at the Kunstverein Hannover in 2008.
About the Exhibition
Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documents Assignments was co-organized by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Aspen Art Museum. It debuted at the Hammer in January 2011 and was on view in Aspen in February¬-May 2011. It will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art in January 2012.
A 200-page exhibition catalogue, featuring essays by Douglas Fogle, Peter Eleey, Yasmil Raymond, and Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, accompanies the exhibition. It will be available for purchase in the Walker Shop for $xx ($xx members).
Opening Day Gallery Talk: June 2, 6 pm
Manders, Walker curator Elizabeth Carpenter, and Hummer curator Douglas Fogle will discuss the inspiration Manders finds in the secret life of objects and his ongoing Self Portrait as a Building project.