Mark Handforth’s works are interventions in space: they offer novel engagements within existing environments and assert new perspectives on familiar fixtures. His sculptures displace quotidian objects and recontextualize their forms in unexpected articulations. In some of his iconic works the bodies of streetlamps, traffic signs, and telephones whimsically buckle, twist, and droop. The seemingly defunct and defeated contortions of Handforth’s forms is countered by a gracefulness imparted by his meticulous craftmanship; this incongruity imbues the works with a wry humor and an endearing pathos. Incorporating materials such as spray-painted metals, burning candles, and neon lights, Handforth’s works reference urban streetscapes in their post-punk aesthetic and utilitarian minimalism, while the capricious scale and juxtapositions draw on the legacies of Surrealism and Dadaist absurdism.
Handforth was born in Hong Kong in 1969 and grew up in London; he currently lives and works in Miami and New York. He completed his studies in the early 1990s at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Recent solo shows include White-Light-Whirlwind at San Carlo in Cremona, Italy; Dr Pepper, ICA Miami; Smoke, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy; Sidewalk Island, Governors Island, New York; Rolling Stop, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Mark Handforth, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Handforth’s work has been included in group exhibitions and biennials at institutions such as Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva; Kunsthaus Zürich; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles. His work is in the collection of major international institutions such as the Dallas Museum of Art; Carnegie Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; LUMA Foundation, Arles, France; Fonds régional d'art contemporain (FRAC), France; The Pinault Collection, Paris; Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Mairie de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Rachofsky Collection, Dallas; Région Rhône-Alpes, France; Rubell Museum, Miami; Speed Art Museum, Louisville; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels; and Whitney Museum of American Art.