Short Sad Thoughts
Mark Manders’ first UK solo exhibition takes the form of an ambitious new commission for BALTIC’s Level 4 gallery space. Short Sad Thoughts draws on an ongoing investigation entitled Self-portrait as a Building that evolves with each new presentation - a project the artist has been working on since 1986 when he was 18 years old. The exhibition features drawings and sculptural constructions.
Dutch artist Mark Manders’ first UK solo exhibition takes the form of an ambitious new commission for BALTIC. Short Sad Thoughts showcases work from Manders’ ongoing exploration Self-Portrait as a Building. This series of work evolves with each new exhibition. It is a project the artist has been working on since he was 18 years old. Manders’ work is an ode to the fictional, or in his own words, an ‘as if’ way of thinking. He believes that it is important for people to deal with fiction as if it were reality.
For this show Manders has produced a number of major works in a diverse range of media. The key works for the new commission are a series of sculptural landscapes and portraits including Field Fragment, Room with Nocturnal City Scene and Staged Android. They may be regarded as three-dimensional photographs – some of them cropped by glass and walls. In Self-Portrait as a Building the world’s mobility is slowed down, like an instant photographic exposure - a place where the world’s lack of transparency becomes manageable.
Manders’ drawings, sculptures and installations offer a wordless story. He takes an everyday object and turns it into something compelling and, often, unfamiliar. His language consists of the arbitrary and the mundane, using beds, blankets, tables, chairs, spoons, sponges, and effigies of dead animals. These items hold an aura as they are positioned within his temple-like structures.
Mark Manders was born in Volkel, The Netherlands in 1968 and now lives and works in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
He began exhibiting work in 1990 and has presented solo shows internationally, most recently at IMMA - Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Eire (2005) and Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA (2005). He has also taken part in group shows at Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002), Manifesta 5, San Sebastian, Spain (2004) and MOCA, Los Angeles, USA (2005), amongst others.
Mark Manders has work in the collections of several international institutions including Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA; MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA and Die Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany.
In the near future he will show work at the 4th Berlin Biennial of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; Kunstverein Hannover, Germany and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA. The artist is represented by Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium.
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