1986 - 1990
Dams’ first solo exhibition PunkMe (1986), Jordaenshuis, Antwerp, featured linocut portraits evocative of his life in the underground Punk scene.
Inspired by British post-punk ballet dancer Michael Clark, Dams started exploring movement as a subject matter for his work. A series of drawings and linocuts, featuring Clark, was exhibited in MOve (1987) an exhibition at Harrods, London. He went on to explore movement in series with dancers.
In 1988, Dams’ artwork moved towards drawings, murals and installations. During that time, he also began to develop a strong interest in collaborating with other artists. His work with writer Tom Lanoye, Cocktale (1988), was the first in a series of collaborations with artists from different disciplines such as writer Peter Verhelst, artist Amanda Lear, novelist and poet Dennis Cooper, curator Joshua Compston and artist Devon Dikeou (Zingmagazine).
The first book on the artist’s work, 78 Linos (1990), was published by De Carbolineum Pers, Belgium.
1990 - 2004
In 1991, Dams was the subject of a RTBF (French Belgian public service Radio and Television) documentary. He continued to exhibit throughout Europe. After his LR.Lear (1993) exhibition at Galérie Oz, Paris, galleries such as Gracie Mansion, New York, Torch, Amsterdam and Galerie S&H De Buck, Ghent started representing his work. In 1997, Dams’ ANP exhibition at S&H De Buck gallery, Ghent, was featured on BRTN (Dutch Belgian public service Radio and Television). An interview for Studio Brussel (Dutch Belgian radio) aired the same year.
From 1991 on, Dams’ work has been exhibited in museums in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the U.S. and China as well as in art galleries worldwide.
2005 - present
In 2005, Dams opened envoy enterprises, an independent contemporary art space, in Manhattan. Currently located in New York’s Lower East Side, in 2007, envoy enterprises was the first to leave the Chelsea Art district for the Lower East side.
In June 2017, ARTnews and Artforum reported the closing of envoy enterprises’ exhibition space. Dams addressed his disgust with the way the art world was evolving and announced that his exhibition program would, at some point, return albeit in a different format. It has done so with projects such as Empirical Nonsense Daily is a project that provided servings of art for 365 consecutive days. As of August 1st 2021, END concluded, bringing a broad view of the arts, including such disciplines as writing, poetry, film making, performing, acting and music. Each day was dedicated to a different artist. The project will be followed by a book documenting the 365 days of END.
- Born, Mortsel, Belgium
- Lives New York, NY
- Dams' Realism, Keijsers Koning, Dallas, TX
- ‘Phantom Of Desire’, Neue Galerie Am Landesmuseum, Graz. Austria (catalogue)
- ‘The Armory Show’, Torch, New York, USA (catalogue)
- ‘Voorbij de grens’, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- ‘Killing Time’, Gallery S&H De Buck, Ghent, Belgium
- ‘Guide to Trust no.2’, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA (catalogue)
- ‘Look At Me, What Do You See?’, Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY, USA
- ‘Snapshot’, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CN, USA (catalogue/CD-rom)
- ‘Gardening With Artists II’, W#AK, Vlissingen, The Netherlands
- ‘Not a. Lear’, Allston Skirt, Boston, MA, USA
- ‘Not a. Lear’, Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY, USA
- ‘What Did You Do This Summer’, Allston Skirt, Boston, MA, USA
- ‘Snapshot’, Beaver College Art Gallery, Glenside, PA, USA; curated by Adam Lerner (catalogue/CD-rom)
- ‘Blondies and Brownies’, Aktionsforum, Munich, Germany; curated by Rafael von Uslar (catalogue)
- ‘Snapshot’, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, USA (catalogue/CD-rom)
- ‘Melancholia’, Gallery S&H DeBuck, Ghent, Belgium (brochure)
- ‘Surrender. I wanna give you devotion, Nimm hin es ist mein Geist und Sinn’, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (brochure)
- ‘Not A. Lear’, Art Process, Paris, France
- ‘It Rains Even Harder Now’, Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY, USA
- ‘Not A. Lear’, Torch Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Art Miami 2000, Gracie Mansion NYC
- ‘3ness’, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium (catalogue)
- ‘City Projects’ Artomatic+, London, Great Britain
- ‘City Projects’, Torch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- The New Museum NYC
- Galerie Sanguine Paris, France
- , Galerie S & H De Buck Ghent, Belgium
- Galerie OZ Paris, France
- Galerie Parbleu Antwerpen, Belgium
- Galerie S8 Berlin, Germany
- Tels Quels Brussels, Belgium
- Harrods London, U.K.
- Jordaenshuis Antwerpen, Belgium