Dennis Tyfus, Lightning Bolt, 2020. Colored pencil on paper, 100 x 70 cm. Courtesy of Tim Van Laere Gallery.

Dennis Tyfus
Satellite of Lard

Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp / Belgium

June 10–July 15, 2021
June 7, 2021
Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50
2000 Antwerp
Belgium

www.timvanlaeregallery.com
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Tim Van Laere Gallery presents its first solo exhibition of Dennis Tyfus, titled Satellite of Lard. In this exhibition, Tyfus presents a new series of drawings, sculptures, installations and sound works. 

The practice of Dennis Tyfus encompasses a wide range of artistic media and visual images. These range from drawings, installations, videos, magazines and books to music, vinyl publications, his own radio show, concerts and performances. Everything in his oeuvre flows into everything else, with no fixed definitions, no beginning or end. In this regard, he draws heavily on the work of such artists as Dieter Roth, Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw. By combining elements from his own psyche with various elements from high and low culture and by approaching them on an equal footing, he creates a universe in which the personal, the everyday and the uncanny come together. His works often find their origin in the artist’s subconscious thought process and take shape through a process of improvisation in which Tyfus only allows himself to be limited by his choice of medium and place. He gathers his diverse artistic practice under the label “Ultra Eczema,” which can take the most varied forms: an UE50 tattoo on the knuckles of the artist’s right hand, for instance, or the road sign with the text Ultra Eczema 100 that was placed on the corner of the street near the Middelheim Museum. The latter work also illustrates the importance of language and recontextualization within Tyfus’s oeuvre.

Drawings occupy a central position in the exhibition. The speed of the medium of drawing and its private character agree with Tyfus’s artistic-activist temperament. That is why he draws incessantly in small and large formats. Tyfus himself calls his drawings Up and Downgrades. As in his performances, the character of the artist himself takes the leading role in these drawings. This character is distorted and bastardized according to the role he assumes. A wide range of sources from the artist’s environment fills these drawings. These sources can be both poetic and rebellious: fragments from magazines and novels, films, soaps, reactions to far-right movements and depictions of his own nightmares, which he displays with the same intensity as Goya and Fuseli before him. 

Within his oeuvre, Tyfus does not limit himself to the visual dimension. Every Saturday between 2 and 3pm you can listen to his own radio show, a combination of satire and music titled Tyfustijd, on Radio Centraal (106.7 FM). His talent for vocal improvisation can also be found in the work The Inhumane Juke Box: pull the rope at the entrance to the exhibition and you will immediately be treated to a random pop song performed a cappella by the artist. The work plays on our subconscious recording of certain fragments of text or melodies that get stuck in our heads like a puzzle in your brain that needs to be solved. As long as the pattern remains incomplete, your brain keeps repeating the same thing until the pattern is completed. Tyfus often expands his own artistic practice through collaborations with other artists and musicians. Take The Seventh Beatle, for instance, in which he placed a hyperrealistic sculpture of his father in a jukebox and invited a whole series of artists to perform a cover of a Beatles song. In doing so, he plays not only on his own childhood memories but also on the mythologization of idols. 

Dennis Tyfus (b. 1979 in Antwerp, Belgium) lives and works in Antwerp. His works have been exhibited internationally at, among others, the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp; M HKA, Antwerp; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; Bozar, Brussels; CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux, France; Kunsthalle São Paulo; Schloss Damtschach, Austria; Kunstschlager, Reykjavik, Iceland; Kunstverein Mannheim and Ludwigshafen, Ludwigshafen am Rein, Germany. His work is in the public collections of M HKA, Antwerp and Middelheim Museum, Antwerp.