For more than three decades, Mark Manders has developed an endless self-portrait in the form of sculpture, still life, and architectural plans. Described by the artist as his ongoing “self-portrait as a building,” Manders’ works present mysterious and evocative tableaux that allow viewers to construct their own narrative conclusions and meanings. Initially inspired by an interest in writing and literature, Manders’ first conception of the self-portrait was more literal, employing language and the written word to describe his own narrative in an autobiography. Moving beyond the limits of language, he later began to explore the architecture of story telling, focusing on structure, rather than on specific content. This early realization resulted in his first sculptural investigations of form, meaning and narrative, which over the years have developed into a remarkable, and continually expanding body of work.
Born in 1968 in Volkel, The Netherlands, Manders currently lives and works in Ronse, Belgium. Winner of the 2002 Philip Morris Art Prize, Manders also received the prestigious Dr. A.H Heineken Prize for Art in 2010.
In 2010, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles opened a major retrospective of his work entitled Parallel Occurrences / Documented Assignments, which later traveled to the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas through 2012. Other significant solo presentations include Mark Manders: Cose in corso at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy (2014), Mark Manders at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago de Compostel, Spain (2014), Les études d’ombres at Carré d'Art - Musée d’art contemporain in Nîmes, France (2012), Revisions: Mark Manders at Carrillo Gil Museum of Art in Mexico City (2011), Two Interconnected Houses at La Casa Luis Barragân in Mexico City, Mexico, and The Absence of Mark Manders, which opened at Kunstverein Hannover in Germany in 2007, and traveled to S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium, Kunsthaus Zurich, and to Bergen Kunsthall in Norway through 2009. The artist’s work has also been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Pinakothek der Modern in Munich, among others.
Manders participated in group exhibitions at the Louvre in Paris (2015), S.M.A.K. in Ghent (2015), Guggenheim Museum in New York (2015), Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2014), Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht (2014), 21er Haus in Vienna (2014), The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford (2012), the Menil Collection in Houston (2012), David Roberts Arts Foundation in London (2012), MoMA in New York (2012), ICA in Philadelphia (2011), DESTE Foundation in Athens (2011), Kunsthalle Bern (2010), amongst many others.
Manders has been commissioned by Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2017) and Rokin Square in Amsterdam (2017). In 2019, he has been commissioned by the Public Art Fund to create a large sculpture for Doris C. Freedman Plaza in New York’s Central Park.
Manders’ work can be found in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; Kunsthaus Zürich, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among many others.