January is looking like a very busy month for exhibition openings, we can now add Half Gallery to the mix of galleries with great shows pending next month. Kicking off on the 15th, endlich, is the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by Berlin-based artist, Hannes Bend. The show will feature several of Bend’s “candy casts”—sculptures in hard candy—alongside a new series of abstract paintings.

Bend’s unique candy casts of art-historical tropes include Albrecht Dürer’s Praying Hands, the now ubiquitous trophy buck, and—perhaps one of the most widely recognizable sculptures—the crucifix. By subtly evoking questions of perception and legibility, Bend’s work aims to address the complexity inherent to these innocuous yet loaded forms.

Bend compliments these three sculptures with several new paintings that play on viewer’s expectations of how ready-made color and hard-edge abstraction should operate. He engages with this medium’s history by fragmenting and superimposing circles, specifically chosen for their association with harmony, perfection, and infinity.

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Hannes Bend’s recent and upcoming exhibitions include A Room, the Wind and Satellites, Freies Museum, Berlin (2010); Earthly Delights, curated by Anna Erickson, TAPE, Berlin (2009); Never Late Then Better, curated by Trong G. Nguyen, Elizabeth Foundation Projects, New York (2009); and LYNCHMOB, curated by Emilie Trice, HBC, Berlin (2008). Bend graduated from the Art College Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee in 2007. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.