Mark Handforth ‘Rolling Stop’

Installation view, 'Rolling Stop', Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, 2011
MOCA, Miami

Inspired by everyday urban existence, Mark Handforth’s sculptures are poetic, lyrical, and wryly comical objects that comment on daily life and human interaction. Through a corporeal engagement with scale and distortion of form, Handforth imbues works such as an illuminated street lamp resting on the ground, a weeping neon moon, and a monumental coat hanger with distinctive personalities. From November 30, 2011 through February 19, 2012, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami will present Mark Handforth: Rolling Stop, a major exhibition of the artist’s work from 1998 to the present. The exhibition is curated by MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater and is part of MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Series.

The exhibition brings together 25 works as well as models, including a major new light installation of a solar eclipse, which draws as much from the early 19th-century English Romantic artist William Blake as it does from Miami’s ubiquitous neon signage. Occupying 100 feet of the museum’s walls with rays of fluorescent fixtures, this installation will highlight the unique space of MOCA’s current galleries and will herald the groundbreaking for its new expansion in 2012. The exhibition extends beyond the museum’s galleries with works installed on the MOCA Plaza and in the museum’s courtyard where Herbal Hill, a sculpture Handforth created for a group show at MOCA in 1998 will be reinstalled. Other locations offsite include the installation of Electric Tree, a giant banyan tree delineated, illuminated and honored with lines of light tracing its limbs in the City of North Miami’s Griffing Park, and the pink neon Weeping Moon, 2010 that will glow and weep on a billboard in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami.

Mark Handforth was the first Miami artist to receive a solo show at the Joan Lehman Building of MOCA, North Miami in March 1996. Mark Handforth: Rolling Stop coincides with the museum’s celebration of its 15th anniversary in its current Joan Lehman Building. Since 1996, Handforth has received major international recognition and has emerged as an important role model for Miami artists. The exhibition Mark Handforth: Rolling Stop makes a strong statement about MOCA’s pivotal role in shaping Miami as an international center for contemporary art.