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b. 1976, New York, NY
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA 

Karl Haendel’s practice revolves around the appropriation of visual signifiers and their recontextualization through drawing.  For Haendel, the act of drawing articulates both the human impulse and labor associated with draftsmanship, while offering a physical system to reconsider accepted imagery.  Haendel’s drawings, often uncanny renderings, pointedly remove images from their original context— media publications, frozen food labels, medieval knights—and reconfigure them through scale, black and white tonality, and juxtaposition into a new of visual language.  It is through this manipulation and repacking of pre-existing imagery that Haendel is able to present keen criticism on contemporary socio-cultural relations, demanding the viewer to draw his or her own.

Karl Haendel was born in 1976 in New York and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA from Brown University in 1998 before attending the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003.

His work has been included in various biennials and institutional group shows such as Cowboy at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2023); 100 Drawings from Now at The Drawing Center, New York (2020); Copines-Copains-Berlin at Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2019); Game On! at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa (2017); Manifest Intention: Drawing In All Its Forms at Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Torino, Italy (2014); the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York; and the 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013). Recent exhibitions include Daily Act of Sustained Empathy at Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles (2023); Praise New York at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2022); Praise Berlin at Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2022); Feeble Synapse at Sommer Contemporary art, Tel Aviv (2021); Mazel Tov Group at Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2019); Pink Cup and the Facts at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (with Jay DeFeo) (2017); Karl Haendel and Tony Lewis at LAXArt, Los Angeles (with Tony Lewis) (2016); and Weeks in Wet Sheets at Barbara Seiler, Zurich (2015). His works are in many public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

All images © Karl Haendel.