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Through the cross-sectioning of visual arts and architecture, Belgian-born Ward Denys (1975) transcends the boundaries of the functional and the dysfunctional, of the inside and outside, of surface and depth. His installations, posited in a minimalist rigor, respond to architectural givens, in compliance and vis-à-vis; they create as much rhythm as counter-rhythm, producing physical disorientation through their mirroring effects. Denys’ works then, built out of plywood and cardboard, manifest themselves as unsettling fragments of architecture, simultaneously taking the status of propositions towards further execution and integration, and remnants, parts of the construction process that were never fully realized.

The art of Ward Denys adheres explicitly to this position in the past and in the future - making his work an issue to be dealt with in the present. In recent years, the artist has explored this logic through the singularity of each of his installation works, but he has also traced more it episodically, in “The Complete Video Exhibition Set” (2008): a room-sized box in his characteristic materials, comprising all the needed utensils to stage a video exhibition. This set was successively presented, dismantled and rebuilt as a stand for a following exhibition…

Emblematic of the artist’s recent preoccupations, the installation works signal a turn from his earlier more sculpture- and object-oriented work. But it seems little more than a formal break: as his early series of rescaled houses and generic landscapes hover between abstraction and functionalism, they have laid out the basic scheme for Denys’ whole body of work. A body of work in which responses become residual and fragments are suitable to be built upon.

Ward Denys lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. Over the last years, the artist had solo exhibitions at STUK in Leuven, CCNOA in Brussels and SNO in Sydney. His work was featured in group exhibitions at the Centre of Visual Arts in Rotterdam, Croxhapox in Ghent and BOZAR in Brussels. As exhibition designer, Ward Denys designed Gaude succurere vitae – Jan Fabre at S.M.A.K. in Ghent and Africa Remix in Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf.

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