Mark Handforth (b. 1969, Hong Kong) creates sculptures that are surreal interpretations of urban spaces and the objects within them. The artist’s wry humor encourages closer inspection of the landscapes we occupy. Handforth employs common icons like street lamps, road signs, and clothes hangers and transforms them through scale and material: a giant wishbone (Wishbone, 2007) becomes a monument; road signs become authoritarian directives (Rolling Stop, 2008).
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.
Handforth 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); The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2015); CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, United Kingdom (2015); Governors Island public art program, New York (2014); the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (all 2011). He has participated in group exhibitions at many institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2017); Peréz Art Museum Miami (2015); Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, France (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); MAMCO (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Geneva (2013); the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (2007); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2006). Handforth’s work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. The artist lives and works in Miami.