Karl Haendel is known for exquisitely detailed, photorealistic graphite drawings. Executed as large-scale endeavors, sometimes spanning more than six feet in any direction, his impeccable technique and draughtmanship command the viewer’s attention. Many of his drawings are based on appropriated photographs; in their deceptive illusionism, these drawings challenge the value placed on original creations and argue for the appreciation of mimetic reproduction. Haendel’s exhibitions often depart from the conventions of the white cube, instead opting for salon-style hangings that cluster works together. Though the majority of his artistic output consists of drawings, Haendel has also created artistic books, such as Shame, which documented internet chat-room avowals of shameful acts or desires, and a handful of movies, the most famous being Questions For My Father which was produced in collaboration with filmmaker Petter Ringbom and inspired by a drawing Haendel created under the same title.
The artist has exhibited at institutions including the Wexner Center in Columbus, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Aspen Art Museum, New York’s Drawing Center, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, among many others.