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Untitled (Lovelight), 1999
Mark Handforth’s sculptures are surreal interpretations of urban spaces and the objects that inhabit them. His small- and large-scale sculptural installations frequently employ wry humor and encourage close inspection of the surrounding space and architecture. Handforth often reworks and deforms the shapes and configurations of familiar objects found in civic infrastructure—municipal signs, fire hydrants, street lamps, traffic cones, wheels, and motor scooters––to create skewed perspectives and disrupt the objects’ functions, exposing their subtle cultural codes.
Untitled (Lovelight) isHandforth’s first and most simple application of the street lamp as a readymade form. With the top part of the lamp removed from its supporting pole and lying on its side on the gallery floor, the piece confronts and engages the viewer in its play on scale. Up close and at one’s feet instead of overhead, the true size of the street lamp becomes unclear, as it appears to have been scaled up and reconstructed rather than merely relocated. The light bulb burns, illuminating the gallery and competing with its artificial lighting while introducing a disorienting reality that brings the outside into the gallery space.
Mark Handforth (b. 1969, Hong Kong) has exhibited widely in the United States and internationally. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2016); CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, United Kingdom (2015); Governors Island Public Art Program, New York (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2011); Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2011); and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2011). He has participated in group exhibitions at numerous museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2017); Peréz Art Museum Miami (2015); Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, France (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); MAMCO (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Geneva (2013); Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (2007); and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2006). Handforth’s work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.