°1990, London, U.K.
Although Finbar Ward’s oeuvre appears unquestionably sculptural, his work originates out of the language of painting. Using materials particular to the painterly medium, Ward investigates the potential of painting as a working material for sculpture and the validity of the medium as a relevant practice today.
This young British artist succeeds in approaching the medium in an innovative manner whereby he engages in a critique of the omnipresence of images in contemporary culture and treats the notion of painting as a subject in itself.
In the past, the artist used a very intuitive process of transformation and reassembly where failure and retrieval determined the work and the point of completion was unforseen. Since “In Absence” (FOLD gallery, London, 2016) – a key exhibition in his oeuvre – Ward employed a more systematic approach whereby a preconceived framework of motif and scale determined the work’s identity. This led to the impresive show ‘In Waiting’ (Geukens & De Vil, Antwerp; British Embassay, Paris, 2016) whereby the artist created site specific large scale installations.
He compressed ‘the essence’ of each work between two large plinths at eye level, where they formed a synthesis of his previous working methods. Later on, ‘the essence’ was to be found upturned and leaking out from underneath its support (Mirror, Mirror, 2017).
This illustrates the cyclic nature of his oeuvre. The sculptural paintings continuously reveal details and elements of painting as a medium, Ward’s studio debris and remnants of previous works, allowing the full impact of the sculptures to become slowly revealed.
The artist thereby seeks to elongate the pace of which the work is being viewed and strives to subvert the death - like state of a finished painting.