Victor Man

Victor Man (b. 1974) is an artist based in Europe. Man’s work explores the history of painting and representation conceived as a place where memory, fiction and amnesia are stratified, a place dense with shadows and mysterious atmospheres, where things exist in a state of perpetual motion. Man has concentrated on the invention and development of an autonomous iconography in which frequent literary references intermingle with his own biography. Literature and history of art, collective memory and personal experience are the elements woven together by the artist into a nonlinear story where distinctions between present and past, fiction, imagination and reality are abolished. This overlapping of points of reference runs throughout his work: the fusion of gender, androgyny or, more generally, the uncertainty of physiognomy and appearance form a recurrent theme, which strengthens the image of an identity in perpetual movement and suggests how rich and mysterious the essence of things can be beyond their appearance. Uncertainty and oscillation between gender find an echo in other forms of transition: from human to animal, organic to artificial, face to mask. Even the gestures that appear in the work of Man suggest the concurrence of violence and tenderness, pleasure and pain, temptation and redemption: these elements reinforce the ambiguity of a barely hinted narration and refer to the dichotomies which dominate human nature: the condition of eternal ambivalence. 

Stylistically complex and difficult to categorise, Man’s inimitable oeuvre reveals numerous art historical references while at the same time representing a unique position in contemporary painting. Modes of co-existence are established between images belonging to the history of art – like, for example, the temptation and torment of Saint Anthony – and forms of everyday human existence. In many of Man’s works, the familiar passes through fantasy and magic, the profane co-exists with what is sacred, and myth dwells within banality. The same is true for the stylistic codes of painting: some of Man’s works, in fact, present a figurative idiom that seems to aspire to an existence which is external to and beyond contemporaneity. 

Solo exhibitions include Gladstone Gallery, New York (2024); ‘The Lines of Life’, Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2023); ‘Eyelids, Towards Evening’, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2022); ‘From Wounds and Starry Dreams’, Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris (2022); ‘1837, Abbozzo per un Autoritratto’, Sant’ Andrea de Scaphis, Rome (2021); ‘Die Rose ist ohne Warum. Sie blühet, weil sie blühet’, Galerie Neu, Berlin (2020); ‘Flowering Ego’, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2018); ‘The Chandler Museo Tamayo’, Mexico City (2018); ‘Entrelacs’ (with Navid Nuur),Centre d'Édition Contemporaine, Geneva (2018); Blum & Poe, Tokyo (2017); Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch, Donaueschingen (2017); ‘Luminary Petals on a Wet, Black Bough’, Galeria Plan B, Berlin (2016); MD72 / Galerie Neu, Berlin (2016); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2015); ‘Zephir’, Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin (2014) and Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014); ‘The Third Cover’, Galerie Neu, Berlin (2013); ‘In un altro aprile’, Villa Medici – French Academy, Rome (2013); ‘Szindbád’, Gladstone Gallery, Brussels (2013); Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2012); ‘The White Shadow of His Talent’, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2012); ‘Lazarus Protocol’, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2011); ‘The Dust of Others’, Galleria Zero, Milan (2010); ‘If Mind Were All There Was’, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2009); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2009); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2009); Centre International d'Art et du Paysage, île de Vassivière (2009); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2008); ‘Black Hearts Always Bleed Red’, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2008); ‘On relative loneliness’, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC), Bergamo (2008);‘Without going into the extravagance that’s in trees’,Galleria Zero, Milan (2007);‘Vestigial specialization on its way out’, Johnen Galerie, Berlin (2008); ‘The place I’m coming from’, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2006).

His works have been included in group exhibitions at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (2024); Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris (2024); Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz (2024); Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke (2023); Museum of Recent Art Bucharest (2023); Fondazione Memmo, Rome (2022); The Warehouse, Rachofsky Collection, Dallas (2022); Michael Werner, London (2022); UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2022); Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome (2021); Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg (2021); City Museum of Ljubljana (2021); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2020); MAXXI Museum, Rome (2020); Galeria Plan B, Berlin (2020); Galleria Zero, Milan (2020); Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (2020); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); Galerie Neu, Berlin (2017); Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan (2017); Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC), Bergamo (2017); Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (SFMOMA) (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2016); Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2016); Frith Street Gallery, London (2014); Galerie Neu, Berlin (2014); Maison Particulière, Brussels (2014); Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna (2014); MNAC / National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2013); Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn (2013); Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di San Marino (2013); Instituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2012); Jewish Museum, Vienna (2012); Arnolfini, Bristol (2009); Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires (2009); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Andratx (CCA), Mallorca (2009); Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2009); Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York (2007). 

Man’s works are held in public collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris;Centre International d'Art et du Paysage, île de Vassivière; Collection of Contemporary Art of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn; David Roberts Collection, London; Deutsche Bank Collection, Berlin; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (GAMeC), Bergamo; Kadist Art Foundation Collection, Paris / San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), Luxembourg; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; Tate, London. 

Victor Man is represented by Galerie Max Hetzler. 

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