About the Exhibition
Debuting this March, Tilted Head is acclaimed Dutch artist Mark Manders’ (b.1968 Volkel, the Netherlands) largest single cast bronze sculpture to date. Conceived specifically for Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast entrance to Central Park, the silent and peaceful new commission is more than thirteen feet tall and consists of a monumental androgynous human head in classical repose. Reminiscent of Constantin Brancusi’s Sleeping Muse sculptures, the archetypally minimalist head is mysteriously incomplete, propped up by cast chairs and a large suitcase, as if improvised and abandoned in the studio. As with many of Manders’ works, he presents us with a trompe l’oeil effect; cracks and fissures imply the process of drying unfired clay, yet the work has been meticulously transformed by the artist and is in fact made of bronze.
Manders’ multidisciplinary practice blurs the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, drawing and installation, often reflecting an ongoing interest in creating a metaphorical self-portrait, using language and objects as a way to explore the potential of narrative and meaning. His subject matter often relates to classical genres: human figures that resemble Ancient (Egyptian) sculpture in their stylized perfection or busts that evoke the idealized form of a renaissance marble. Throughout his practice, Manders has continued to develop a series of tilted head sculptures, creating works in different sizes, exploring the effects of scale shifts on the viewer. With Tilted Head, tensions are evident throughout, creating a balanced poetic reality. Serenity is met with the gravity of aging cracks, representation is inhabited by abstraction, and timelessness and specificity meet, allowing for the audience to construct their own narrative or conclusions about the human form.
Mark Manders: Tilted Head is curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume.