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.
In a number of works, Handforth renders celestial bodies from industrial materials. Weeping Moon, a neon light fixture in the shape of a crescent moon with a face and three tears falling from its eye, appears almost cartoon-like. Exploring the relationship of industry to nature, Handforth’s works express entropy, deconstruction, and decay. Here the moon, which precedes and will likely outlive our cities, melancholically bears witness to these cycles of development and decay while reminding us of the persistence of nature.
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.