October 21, 2005 - Stroom Den Haag - Mark Handforth
October 21, 2005

Mark Handforth

Stroom Den Haag

Mark Handforth, Jack Smith, 2002, steel pipe, candles, approx. 10x7x8 feet, MH 049, courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York. Stroom Den Haag
Hogewal 1-9
2514 HA The Hague, The Netherlands
T 31-70 3658985
info@stroom.nl www.stroom.nl
Opening hours: Wednesday thru Sunday 12-5 pm

MARK HANDFORTH

October 23 thru December 4, 2005
Opening reception: Sat. October 22, 2005, 5 pm

The British artist Mark Handforth (1969) prefers to derive his work from objects and elements in public space, like lampposts, traffic signs or fluorescent lights. Sometimes he uses them as ready-mades, in other instances he creates an exact replica. There is always some sophisticated transformation going on, testing the viewers perception. The seemingly destructive interventions give Handforths sculptures a subversive quality. Are they the aesthetic celebration of the results of vandalism, of unrestrained commercialization, of decay, in short: of the Verelendung of public space?

Handforth focuses on failures: the breakdown of modernism (both the art-historical phenomenon and the actual objects themselves), the transience of the utopian dream, dilapidated structures, expressions of well-intended urban planning. Just like Robert Smithson, who in the sixties used the language of Minimalism to describe the ruins and garbage heaps in the American cities as pieces of art, Handforth identifies the corroded elements of the urban environment as sculptures.

Mark Handforths work refers to minimal art, not only in its actual appearance, but also in purpose, making the viewer conscious of both the object and the spaces it resides in and refers to. The work is closely linked to that of an artist like Carl Andre. The exhibition of Mark Handforth can be regarded as a follow-up to the farewell exhibition last January of Lily van Ginneken, Strooms former director. In this exhibition she showed early works by Carl Andre, consisting of casual arrangements of materials Andre had found on construction sites in The Hague. Through simple means Handforth, too, draws the exterior space into the exhibition space; thus public space becomes manifest, both as a physical and as a social phenomenon.

Mark Handforth was born in Hong Kong, grew up in London and lives and works in Miami. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunste/Städelschule in Frankfurt.

The exhibition at Stroom Den Haag will feature two large, new works and is the first presentation of Mark Handforths work in The Netherlands. In Europa he had solo exhibitions at The Modern Institute (Glasgow), Le Consortium (Dijon) and Kunsthaus Zürich.

Ivan Grubanov
We would like to draw your attention to the exhibition at Stroom Den Haag of the Serbian artist Ivan Grubanov, from December 18, 2005 thru February 5, 2006. The centerpiece will be his work Visitor which he made during his visits to the trial of Slobodan Milosevic at International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Stroom Den Haag focuses on the urban environment from the viewpoint of visual arts, architecture, urban development and design.

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