Karl Handel press release

1/2 Einstein’s Brain, 1/2 Moon Rock


Inauguration: Friday, 13 May – 6.30 to 9 p.m.

Open from 13 May to 30 June 2016 – hours: Tuesday to Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.

For his second solo exhibition, Karl Haendel (born in New York 1976; lives and works in Los Angeles) is presenting a new series of drawings in various sizes, in an installation specially created for the spaces of the Neapolitan gallery. In this new exhibition, the artist studies our relationship with our body, understood as a physical entity but also as a concept extended to purely speculative interpretations. Through the different expressive forms of drawing, in his meticulously rendered realistic, abstract or conceptual representations, Haendel – within the vision of a body of works, paraphrasing the subject of his research – inspires us to ponder the various aspects that relate us to our body.  The images of the represented figures, or parts of them, are derived from media that can readily be found anywhere, from printed paper to the Internet. Some of the drawings are explicit references to art history, such as the representation of sculpture, or they are tied to modern technological models for the three-dimensional representation of the body.

Others instead reprocess different images that have been combined to attain forms that trigger alienating perceptions. In the overall vision, the body is understood as a vital, dynamic organism, with all its limitations and flaws. In this specific installation, in the two-dimensional representation of drawing the body is elevated to a sculptural dimension through the use of cardboard maquettes that simulate pedestals, which hold the framed works. For certain images, shaped frames are used and they take away part of the visual continuity of the line of the drawing.

In them, a realistic vision is removed according to a model of specific dimensions that have been adopted by the artist and that, when recombined, can serve as a continuous module similar to a puzzle. These forms negate the exclusiveness of the rectangular representation tied to the economic aspect that arose after art became an asset that could be purchased on a panel and was no longer tied to the architectural spaces of the fresco. The diversity of the works and their arrangement within a single space lead to a more complex and intriguing interpretation that places the drawings in successive dynamic and conceptual relationships effacing the two-dimensional limitations ascribed to them and restoring their value as objects.

Karl Haendel has exhibited his works at numerous international museums, such as Museo de Arte de El Salvador, San Salvador / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles / Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver / Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York / Castello di Rivoli, Turin / 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon / MOCA Cleveland / Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis / The Rubell Family Collection, Miami / São Paulo Biennial pavilion, São Paulo / Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice / The New Museum, New York / The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago / Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo / The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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