Paul De Vylder (1942-2022): my, my work

27-08-2022 until 01-10-2022
Rozier 1, 9000 Gent
Opening hours
Thursday: 14.00 - 18.00 p.m.
Friday: 14.00 - 18.00 p.m.
Saturday: 14.00 - 18.00 p.m.

Paul De Vylder (1942-2022): mijn, mijn werkVisual artist and author Paul De Vylder, honorary professor at KASK in Ghent, passed away on 12 May 2022. After a stroke in 2019, De Vylder could only communicate in writing in his hospital bed. On his first note, he asked about his work: "my, my... work".

The exhibition in VANDENHOVE shows, in response to recent donations, a selection from the oeuvre of paintings, sculptures and photographic works from 1963 to 2019 from the collections of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Mu.ZEE, S.M.A.K and VANDENHOVE.

Visual artist Paul De Vylder was trained as a painter and graphic artist in the academies of Antwerp, Sint-Niklaas and Ljubljana. He made his debut in the early 1960s with colorful, wildly painted representations of figures and in 1966 with cybernetic work. After studying art history, he built up a critical visual oeuvre that incorporates material and insights from art history, semiotics and image science. This body of work, which De Vylder has exhibited since the early 1980s, consists of series of images, sculptures and photographic works, such as Quarantaine (1981-82), 'pitch paintings' inspired by film stills of latently violent interior scenes in close-up and distorted perspectives, the series of drawings dr. Joseph Goebels: Unsolved Media Riddles (1983), Gems of Power (1985-86) with engraved leather ankle and wrist straps that were used to tie up wounded soldiers on field operating tables, the photo series Cargo Cult: The Trickeries and Ritual Cunning of the Western Iconological Tradition (1996), the computer drawings Les Demoiselles de Saint Antoine (2017-19) and others.

De Vylder, who taught semiotics at the KASK in Ghent, was also a sharp and idiosyncratic theorist. His essays were collected in Onevenredige lichamen. Over de onmogelijkheid van het spreken (2004) and De God die zijn vrouw had opgegeten. Codes en rituelen: over de listigheid van de rede (2014). He looked back on his artistic trajectory in The O of Giotto. Gesprekken met Koen Brams en Dirk Pültau (2016).

De Vylder's oeuvre has rarely been exhibited. Initially in MDD (1980), most recently in the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke (2020-21). He never worked and exhibited commercially, he was an artist's artist. De Vylder was awarded the Visual Arts Prize of the Flemish Community in 1992. The work present in the collections of MUHKA and Mu.ZEE, (where De Vylder had a retrospective exhibition in 1996) has recently been supplemented by important sets of monumental pitch paintings and sculptures in the collections of the VANDENHOVE Centre (2019), and MDD and SMAK (2022).

The exhibition, compiled from work in the collections of KBS/VANDENHOVE Centrum, MDD, SMAK and Mu.ZEE, shows a summary of the oeuvre, with early work, pitch paintings, sculptures and photographic works.
Curated by Bart Verschaffel, Antony Hudek and Michiel Van Damme
Production: Bram Vandeveire, Michiel Van Damme, An-Valerie Vandromme