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Marc Handelman
Our Banner in the Sky


oil on canvas

226 x 365 cm
Our Banner in the Sky is based on an iconic 1861 Civil War propaganda painting of the same title by Hudson River School artist Frederick Church, in which streaks of red and white cloud fill an early dawn sky behind a dead tree to form an almost abstract double-image of the American flag. Widely circulated in the form of a mass-produced print, it was intended to rally Union supporters, indicating a victory prefigured in the heavens. Handelman ramps up the illusionistic, visionary power of the original painting by greatly increasing its size, while at the same time cropping it to strip away its surrounding landscape. Furthermore, the flag itself has been inverted, a defiant gesture on the part of the artist to express his own ambiguity of feelings regarding national identity, ideology and morality in the contemporary political climate.
Marc Handelman
Plan for Victory


oil on canvas

227.3 x 193cm
Adopting the languages and motifs of iconic images, Handelman’s paintings crop, manipulate and invert their sources to formulate abstracted and fragmented fields that resound with the uncanny. Through this re-ordering, Handelman forges parallels between media, kitsch and spirituality. Inspired by American Luminists such as Frederic Edwin Church and Fitz Hugh Lane, Handelman’s canvases incorporate light as a dramatic tool, simultaneously conjuring associations of grandeur, heraldry and divinity, while underscoring their representation as artificial constructions.
Marc Handelman
Nurnberg, 1937


oil on canvas

335.3 x 335.3cm
Marc Handelman analyses and repackages the power of visual images. His work questions the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, making references to the glory of nineteenth-century American landscape painting, political propaganda, Nazi architecture, photo-journalism, advertising, and the USA’s most beloved home decor artist Thomas Kinkade. Choosing his sources for their contemporary and historical associations with politics, religion and social ideals, Handelman pastiches the alluring visual strategies of dogma and propaganda. Expropriating these dynamic genres from their associated ideologies, Handelman’s canvases reverberate with hollow splendour, creating a critical meta-aesthetic reflective of a new global outlook.


Additional information on Marc Handelman

Modern and contemporary artists and art; Marc Handelman

lombard-freid.com - Selected press – Marc Handelman including..
Cotter, Holland. Art in Review; "Fanciful to Figurative to Wryly Inscrutable."

New York Times. July 8, 2005.
Rosenberg, Karen. Art Review; "Marc Handelman at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts."

Artforum. December, 2004.
Kerr, Merrily. Art Review; "Marc Handelman at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts."

Flash Art. November-December, 2004.
Marc Handelman: Scenes from the New Miasma
Marc Handelman’s paintings explore the intersection of power, propaganda, national identity, fascism, beauty, and kitsch through subjective fantasies inspired by the rhetorical and visual legacy of nineteenth century American Landscape painting.
Handelman constructs paintings that seek to dismantle, reify and complicate the seductive relationship between beauty and the moral delusion so often embedded in aestheticizing processes. Drawing from sordid discourses and histories both real and imagined and within a shifting visual framework at once representational, symbolic, and abstract, Handelman’s paintings conflate spaces that both stabilize and disrupt a comfortable recognition and relationship to his subjects.

gaycitynews.com - Landscapes Focused and Idealized By Carie Moyer
Marc Handelman is a tricky painter. “Warm White Blizzard,” his current solo debut at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, consists primarily of landscape paintings, each rendered with a kind of swoony technical bravura and revelry in the possibilities of materials.

The viewing experience Marc Handelman creates is not one of comfort - his unsettling work references a history of painting that ranges from the Hudson River School to Abstract Expressionism to Thomas Kinkade, and depicts troubling landscapes, billboards and nationalistic iconography.

The works of Marc Handelman at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Press and articles related to Marc Handelman including ‘Capturing images of beauty, horror’
By David Pagel, Los Angeles Times

Alternative images and artwork by Marc Handelman from Marc Selwyn Fine Art