Concentrations 51: Mark Handforth
March 23–September 23, 2007
What: A sculpture by Miami-based artist Mark Handforth (b. Hong Kong, 1969)
Exhibition content: Mark Handforth’s large-scale sculptures combine discarded industrial objects and furniture from the urban landscape with an inventive and playful sense of light, color, and form. Following a hurricane, the artist roamed the streets of Miami collecting the broken remains of the city. He proceeded to drag the bent signs, benches, and street lamps back to his studio to use as raw material for his giant assemblages or readymades. Eluding the categories of object, design, or furniture, Handforth’s sculptures bring new meaning to the texts and objects that map out the routines of our everyday lives and invite the viewer to reconsider the ways we engage with the built environment—what Ed Ruscha once called the “unreported facts” all around us. The result is a body of work that masterfully draws inspiration from a variety of sources: Bernini’s gravity-defying Saint Theresa (1647–1652), the modern line of Anthony Caro, Claes Oldenberg’s humor, and Dan Flavin’s affinity for electric light. A commissioned piece for the Dallas Museum of Art Sculpture Garden, Cobra, braids together three elements: a curved working street lamp (an homage to his one-time teacher Martin Kippenberger’s Street Light for Drunks, 1988), a bright yellow I-beam, and a rainbow colored anchor chain. Both weighty and weightless at the same time, the sculpture calls up the emblem of two snakes wound around a rod, an ancient Greek symbol associated with medicine and healing.
Exhibition size: The footprint of the sculpture will be approximately 10 x 10’. It will be located in the southeast corner of the Sculpture Garden and will be positioned so that the cobra head of the working street lamp will peek over the wall to salute Mark Di Suvero’s sculpture Ave (1973).
Organizer: Dallas Museum of Art, curated by Suzanne Weaver, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
Concentrations exhibition support is provided by the Donor Circle membership program through leadership gifts of Claire Dewar, Nancy and Tim Hanley, Caren Prothro, and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. Air transportation provided by American Airlines.
Image: Mark Handforth, Sketch for Cobra, 2007