Willem Velthoven

Room with Broken Sentence: Mark Manders at 55th Biennale Venice

Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti

1 jun 2013
17 nov 2013

Benedetti and Manders are developing a visually layered event which will dialogue with the architecture of the Rietveld pavilion. The Netherlands are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dutch entries, from 1953 onwards in the present pavilion designed by Gerrit Rietveld.


Opening the Dutch Pavilion at Biennale 55 - Biennale Venezia 55: Minister Jet Bussemaker is greeted by thankful Art people: Mark Manders, Birgit Donker and Lorenzo Benedetti. Willem Velthoven

Room with Broken Sentence contains elements of Manders’ earlier work while highlighting new steps the artist is taking. The larger installations developed specially for the Rietveld pavilion reveal significant new aspects of the artist’s formal and conceptual vocabulary. Manders’ use of materials, in which nothing is what it seems (epoxy looks like clay, clay becomes brass and brass seems to be wood), enhances this enigmatic visual impact.

The Dutch entry at the 55th International Art Exhibition is a solo exhibition by one of the Netherlands’ most representative contemporary artists. Mark Manders launched his career in 1986 with a work entitled Self-Portrait as a Building: a floor plan of a building realised with pencils, pens and other writing implements. From this point onwards his art has revolved around the exploration of this inner building.

Since 1995, the Mondriaan Fund is responsible for the Dutch entry for the Venice Biennale. For this 55th edition the Mondriaan Fund introduced an open call to curators to submit a brief preliminary plan for this stately event. A specially appointed jury selected the Benedetti and Manders plan from four shortlisted proposals. The jury consisted of Hester Alberdingk Thijm (director of AkzoNobel Art Foundation), Defne Ayas (director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam), Jan Debbaut (freelance curator and former director of Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and director of Collections at Tate Museums, London), Rein Wolfs (director of the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Germany) and chairperson without a vote Birgit Donker (director Mondriaan Fund).