Armleder, Handforth, Landers

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The exhibition presents works by the three artists John M. Armleder (b. 1948 Switzerland), Mark Handforth (b. 1969 Hong Kong) and Sean Landers (b. 1962 USA) who all have distinguished themselves through their individual and eclectic styles. The exhibition contains very different methods of and approaches to both painting and sculpture.

John M. Armleder has through his artistic carrier explored al most all kinds of media. He continuously investigates the boundaries of art production through installation, painting, and performance – a practice that often exceeds the common understanding of art as well as the artist role. In the exhibition three paintings with very different expressions are presented. Two works are from the series Enter At Your Own Risk from 2000, in which stylized splashes of paint are repeated in a tight grid. Compared to the almost minimal style in the works Enter At Your Own Risk 3 and %, the painting Ischia from 2008 looks like a random explosion on canvas. A brownish wax-like substance mixed with glitter runs down the canvas, while different tiny pieces of toys are attached to the canvas. Together the works show a fragment of the huge span in Armleder’s production, in which the role of the artist is continuously questioned. In both type of works the artist as a creating individual can be said to have stepped back, to leave the work to be produced by either accident or a rigid system.

Armleder has had solo exhibitions at museums such as: MoMA, New York, Tate Liverpool, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Kunsthalle Zürich, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Armleder participated in Documenta 8, Kassel and represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 1986.

Mark Handforth creates sculptures and installations in a variety of materials and with very different connotations and references. Handforth often works on a big scale where he transforms items through enlargement, displacement or assemblage. Through these different strategies the transformed objects gain both sculptural values and new meanings parallel to the original. The sculpture “Tilted Shadow” from 2013 is a giant horseshoe leaning against a long yellow steel box. Despite its large size the work posses a visual lightness, which also gives it an apparent fragility, contrasting its actual gravity. In the smaller work Capricorno 2 from 2013, nothing has been enlarged. Here a moped steer has been connected with a cast of a ram horn and a rusted iron pole. On top of it all is placed a bunch of coloured candles gradually melting onto the work and its concrete plinth changing the appearance of the work over time. The work literary melts into the room and ties its different parts and materials as well as their connotations together.

Handforth has had solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Kunsthaus Zürich, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and participated in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Sean Landers caught the attention of the New York art scene during the 1990’s with his text and video works, in which he confessed his personal insecurities with becoming an artist and his struggles with the art world. Through the 90’s he started to transfer his text based works to canvas and later figurative elements started to show up in between the writings. In his newest work the figurative elements have taken over and in the works where text is still found this is incorporated into the figurative. The work I Lived Once from 2014 shows a collection of birch trees in which fragments of writings have been inscribed. Many of these inscriptions refers to Landers’ previous work and expresses the wish of creating something lasting and his fears of not being able to withstand the test of time. The same theme is visible in the work Brueghel and Archer (Boar) form 2014, where a boar with tartan fur walks through a forest. Next to the boar an arrow stands in the ground and to Landers the whole work shapes an arrow he hope to shoot into the future, where he wishes it to gain a long life.

Landers has had solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Kunsthalle Zürich and participated in group exhibitions at MoMA, New York, The New Museum, New York, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt and Deichtorhallen Hamburg.