Mark Handforth was born in Hong Kong in 1969. He was educated at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London and Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt. Handforth lives and works in Miami.
His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at: Studio des Acacias, Paris (2014); Governors Island, New York (2014); Galleria Franco Noero, Turin (2013); Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich (2013, 2008, 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2011); MCA Chicago Plaza Project, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011); Hessel Museum of Art, New York (2011); Kunstnernes Hus (with Urs Fischer and Georg Herold), Oslo (2009); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas (2007); Kunsthaus, Zurich (2005) and Le Consortium, Dijon (2003); Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York (with Dara Friedman) amongst others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (numerous); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2013, 2009); Cluny Abbey, Cluny (2013); Marseille-Provence 2013, Aix-en-Provence (2013); Kunsthalle Detroit, Detroit (2012); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2011, 2009); L & M Arts, New York (2008); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2006) and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004) amongst others.
Handforth takes as his subject everyday objects, landscapes and situations, which are transformed through distortions of scale, material and form. Describing his work as a ‘basic conversation about the strange poles of living’, he frequently uses materials commonly found in urban infrastructure. Handforth is concerned with how a sculpture occupies a given landscape or area. With a profound appreciation for the intrinsic functions and motions of cities, many of his works are installed outside in urban areas or city parks, where the object is encouraged to interact with and feed off its surroundings, free from the shackles of the gallery space. Handforth revels in the altered perspectives that result from unexpected situations, cultural migration and displacement. He aims to create work unrestricted by cultural or geographical boundaries. Recalling Pop art, Dada and minimalism, much of Handforth’s works are visual jokes that reflect on the facts and absurdities of day-to-day life. The results are strangely powerful and unexpected gestures that the artist has described as residing ‘in the half world between reality and formality’.