Acclaimed Dutch artist Mark Manders is known for his enigmatic and evocative sculptural objects and tableaux. This exhibition, the first North American tour of his work, showcases a new body of sculpture and furthers his monumental Self-Portrait as a Building, a constantly expanding project the artist initiated in 1986.
“He thinks of his sculptures as the physical equivalent of poetry, putting one object next to another as a poet would do with words, ” says exhibition co-curator Douglas Fogle. Manders translates his thoughts, memories, and dreams into material forms that incorporate household furniture and other everyday artifacts, taxidermied animals, architectural fragments, and fabricated pieces that resemble statuary or relics from some ahistorical culture. Part still life, part landscape, these 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.
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, director and chief curator, Aspen Art Museum
Douglas Fogle, deputy director, exhibitions and programs, and chief curator, Hammer Museum
Walker coordinating curator: Elizabeth Carpenter