b. 1968, Netherlands

Mark Manders Biography

A sense of timelessness pervades Mark Manders' work, encompassing sculpture, installation, and drawing, that interrogates the processes and implications of logic, and the relationship between human thought and objects.

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Artworks

Fragmentation, multiplication, or reduction of forms are recurring features of Manders' practice. Many of his works, which are diverse in material and scale, appear to be frozen in time as though the ever-elusive artist has just exited the scene.

Self-Portrait as a Building

In 1986, Manders began his long-term project of portraying himself as a building with Inhabited for a Survey (First Floor Plan from Self-Portrait as a Building). As the title suggests, the work was a floor plan of an imaginary building—presented on the floor—formed by the writing tools that the artist had at the time.

The conceptual, evolving self-portrait has accumulated numerous iterations over time, in different mediums, including the pencil on paper Drawing with Shoe Movement / Two Consecutive Floor Plans from Self-Portraits as a Building (May 21, 2002) (2002) that shows a plan of another fictional building. Manders does not attempt to capture his personal feelings or history in his self-portraits, rather focusing on 'the way objects can generate thoughts' in relation to the body as he writes in a statement.

Language

At the time of creating Inhabited for a Survey, Manders had wanted to be a writer and approached the work as a basis for a written self-portrait. Increasingly, however, the artist shifted towards sculpture, drawn to the medium's ability to exist as timeless objects as opposed to the linear progression of books or the written language. As Manders told Ocula Magazine in 2021, sculpture enables thoughts to become frozen objects, 'that you can treat like language' by reconfiguring its components and incorporating them into installations.

Writing remains a salient aspect of Manders' practice, and the artist is the co-founder of the independent art publisher Roma Publications along with graphic designer Roger Willems and artist Marc Nagtzaam.

Frozen Moments

Often featuring unfinished surfaces or what appear to be abandoned scenes, Manders' works seem to exist in states of incompletion or ambiguity. A partially complete human figure leans against a chair in Clay Figure with Iron Chair (2009), while the human body in Ramble Room Chair (2010) is stuck in the midst of being sculpted over a long piece of wood. Suspended in action, Manders' sculptures and room installations hint at traces of the artist and his thoughts without yielding legible narratives.

Multiplication

Multiple parts, whether as a result of fragmentation or multiplication, are common across Manders' work. Room with Fives (1993–2001) only contains fives of the same object, and the human figure is divided into vertical parts in works such as Vertical Clouds (2021–2022).

Manders has also created room installations dedicated to a single or multiple words. Room with All existing Words (2005–2022), the centrepiece of his solo exhibition at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, in 2022, features newspapers with every word in the English language and drawings dedicated to 'Skiapode,' an old word for 'a strange, failed myth'. In creating different forms of Skiapode, Manders considers the workings of the human mind—when certain words get lost over time, but others proliferate.

Exhibitions

Mark Manders has exhibited extensively in solo and group presentations. In 2010, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles presented a major retrospective of Manders' practice, titled Parallel Occurrences / Documented Assignments, that travelled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; and Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, between 2011 and 2012.

Solo exhibitions include Mark Manders, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp (2022); The Absence of Mark Manders, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2021); The Absence of Mark Manders, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2020); Writing Yellow, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2019).

Group exhibitions include The Secret Life, Gallery Baton, Seoul (2021); Accelerate your escape: Gary Hume explores the Hiscox Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2020); Surrounded: 11 Installations, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); Walking On the Fade Out Lines, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2018); Room With Broken Sentence, Dutch Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002).

Website

Mark Manders' website can be found here, and Manders' Instagram can be found here.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

Mark Manders
featured artworks

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Yellow Composition (with All Existing Words) by Mark Manders contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Mark Manders Yellow Composition (with All Existing Words), 2005–2023 Offset print and acrylic on paper, wood
66 x 46.5 x 6.5 cm
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Zeno X Gallery
Night Scene by Mark Manders contemporary artwork sculpture
Mark Manders Night Scene, 2023 Painted canvas, painted wood, painted epoxy, iron
42.5 x 48.7 x 28 cm
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Zeno X Gallery
Day Scene by Mark Manders contemporary artwork sculpture
Mark Manders Day Scene, 2023 Painted wood, painted epoxy
24 x 23.5 x 7.2 cm
Zeno X Gallery Request Price & Availability
Painted Head by Mark Manders contemporary artwork sculpture
Mark Manders Painted Head, 2022 Painted wood, painted canvas, epoxy and other materials

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Zeno X Gallery
Composition with Yellow by Mark Manders contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Mark Manders Composition with Yellow, 2005–2022 Offset print and acrylic on paper, wood
62 x 43.3 x 4.5 cm
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Zeno X Gallery
Head with Blue Paintings by Mark Manders contemporary artwork sculpture
Mark Manders Head with Blue Paintings, 2012–2013 Wood, painted epoxy, painted canvas
78.5 x 28 x 37.5 cm
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Zeno X Gallery
Perspective Study by Mark Manders contemporary artwork works on paper
Mark Manders Perspective Study, 2005-2020 Acrylic and offset print on paper, wood
76 x 55.3 x 6 cm
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Gallery Baton
Fragment of Forgetting by Mark Manders contemporary artwork sculpture
Mark Manders Fragment of Forgetting, 2019 Patinated bronze, brass, wood
47 x 29.5 x 29.5 cm
Gallery Baton Request Price & Availability
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Mark Manders
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