This iteration of Viewpoints features Karl Haendel’s Mazel Tov Group (2006–7), a multi-part work comprised of drawings and a photograph arranged in the gallery according to the artist’s specifications. Known for his catalogue of found images reworked through drawing, Haendel’s installations recontextualize images culled from vernacular sources such as advertisements, frozen food labels, newspapers, sports, and celebrity images, and bring seemingly disparate content into conversation.
The five framed pieces that comprise Mazel Tov Group include four intricate graphite drawings and one photograph that can be read as individual expressions, or pieced together to form networks of potential associations. The images include a photograph of Emmet Kelly, the popular American circus performer, in costume as his clown character “Weary Willie”; and drawings of the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman”, the opening track of the 1983 album Infidels; a smiling performer atop an elephant; a Jewish-American themed cartoon from The New Yorker; and a breaching whale. Rather than forming a single narrative, Haendel’s grouping of these pieces points to multiple themes—such as the culture of American entertainment or relationships between nature and culture—while ultimately inviting viewers to construct their own connections.
Haendel (U.S., born 1976) lives and works in Los Angeles. With degrees in art, art history, and semiotics and a certificate from the Whitney Independent Study Program, Haendel’s practice has roots in the history of appropriation art and theory. For the past twenty years Haendel has centered his practice on sorting, indexing, and translating images through drawing.
Exhibition Date: May 11, 2019 — November 03, 2019
Location: Upper Level Gallery
$10 - General Admission
$6 - Seniors (62+)
Free - Henry members; UW students, faculty, and staff; students, and children.
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