Mark Manders was awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 2010 for his consistent use of imagery in creating an intriguing world of his own, one that leaves ample scope for free association and plants itself deep in the memory.
Mark Manders is best known for his installations, for which he uses a variety of different materials, including wood, iron, plastic, rope, sand, paper and even teabags. He places familiar elements ‘a human figure, a chair, a table, a cat’ together in mysterious compositions and leaves their interpretation to the viewer. Manders also produces drawings, sculptures, films, and writes poems. His works represent the flow of his own ideas and meditations. Manders regards his oeuvre as a single, cohesive project, which he refers to as his ‘self-portrait as building’. It is not an autobiographical self-portrait, however, but a portrait of the artist as a fictional and (in his own words) ‘over-concentrated, neurotic, poetic person’, a ‘character who lives in a logically designed and constructed world which consists of thoughts that are halted or congeal at their moment of greatest intensity’. The Dutch arts magazine Kunstbeeld suggested that Manders’ best work ‘becomes art the way nature turns in freezing cold: immaculate and isolated at the same time, tranquil and full of tension’.
About the laureate
Mark Manders was born in Volkel, the Netherlands, in 1968. He attended the School of Graphic Design in Arnhem and the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited extensively in the Netherlands and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (Netherlands), the Kunsthaus Zürich Museum for Modern Art, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited at the Sao Paolo, Berlin and Venice Biennales and at Dokumenta in Kassel. His work has also been acquired by an impressive number of museums in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Antwerp, Ghent, Munich, Dublin, Zurich, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Manders is a recipient of the Prix de Rome (1992) and the Philip Morris Art Prize (2002).
— Interview with Mark Manders in Akademie Nieuws (Dutch)