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Simon Denny

Simon Denny’s Biography

Last Updated:
14/05/2019, 2:17 pm
Visual Artist
New Generation 2015
In recent years, Simon Denny’s research-based art projects have explored aspects of tech business culture and the stories that surround it. Denny is interested in presentation strategies and styles of organisations - governmental or commercial as well as non-governmental or non-profit - and in the management strategies that inform them.

Simon Denny was born in Auckland in 1982. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, from 2001 to 2005 and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, under Willem de Rooij, from 2007 to 2009.

Denny examines how through design, art and architecture history is instrumentalised to create and enforce powerful myths about organisations. He often uses commissions and case studies as tools for exploring these topics, which lead to large scale installations and multilayered collaborations. For this, Denny uses compliance, celebration and overstatement as artistic strategies.

This year, Simon Denny represents New Zealand at the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy with his project Secret Power. The New Zealand pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015 is spread across two venues, Marciana library at Piazzetta San Marco and the Marco Polo airport of Venice. In his two site-specific installations, Simon Denny shines a light on the internal communications and workings of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its partners in the Five Eyes Alliance (including New Zealand) which have been brought to public attention by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

Simon Denny’s artistic practice has been prominently featured in solo shows at MoMA PS1, New York (2015), Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2014), Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, and Kunstverein Munich (both 2013) as well as in his participation in recent group shows at prominent museums (including Kunsthaus Bregenz; ICA, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fridericianum Kassel).

Denny’s work is in public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.

He is represented by Galerie Buchholz, Berlin and Cologne; Petzel Gallery, New York; T293, Rome and Naples; and Michael Lett, Auckland.