UNFIRED CLAY HEAD
wood and painted epoxy
19 3/8 x 10 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Since the late 1980s, Dutch artist Mark Manders has been involved in a multidisciplinary project to create a “self-portrait as a building” whereby the artist considers all of his works a continuously growing self-portrait that takes the form of an ever-expanding building. The works themselves don’t necessarily resemble structures or figures (though many have components of both), but rather challenge and expand on notions of time, the self, architecture, and culture. Here, the wooden slats (which appear often in Manders’ work) divide the figure physically and psychologically, while also appearing to be a kind of base or temporary structural support. The unfired “clay” figure (which is actually made of painted epoxy) is featured in a number of Manders’ works, and presents a potent juxtaposition. As a raw material, the unfired clay seems unfinished, still being worked by the artist’s hand with rough edges and a soft malleable surface. The head itself, however, with an androgynous face, appears to be a recently excavated figure from some mysterious ancient culture. Through relatively simple means, ideas about the present, the past, and the self converge in this enigmatic and quietly powerful work. Manders work can be found in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Kunsthaus Zurich; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; S.M.A.K. Ghent; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others. His 2007-2009 solo exhibition The Absence of Mark Manders was organized by the Kunstverein Hanover, and traveled to Bergen Kunsthall; S.M.A.K. Ghent; and Kunsthaus Zurich. Group exhibitions include Walking in My Mind, The Hayward Gallery, London; The Quick and the Dead, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Life on Mars, 55th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. His recent exhibition Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documented Assignments – co-organized by Aspen Art Museum and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles – traveled to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and was on view at the Dallas Museum of Art this past spring. Mark Manders will represent The Netherlands at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
estimated retail value: $90,000
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