In the exhibition it is not only the history and vision of the museum that resonates, but also and especially unique relationships with individual artists. Each room provides space for one ensemble. Apart from representative works, the selection also focuses on surprising and atypical works in an artist's oeuvre.
Joseph Beuys, Michaël Borremans, Marcel Broodthaers, Leo Copers, Thierry De Cordier, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre, Mark Manders, François Morellet, Bruce Nauman, Panamarenko, Thomas Schütte, Luc Tuymans
The artist is at the heart of all S.M.A.K.’s activities. Consequently, an important part of the collection policy focuses on putting together ensembles. Rather than representing an artist by just one work, S.M.A.K. aims to collect an oeuvre in-depth and so understand it in all its complexity. In ENSEMBLEMATIC, S.M.A.K. presents several of its most notable ensembles.
‘A collection is more permanent and slow-moving, while the ‘exhibition spirit’ with its high-profile shows puts the museum into a higher gear. Exhibitions capture the spirit of the times and are a part of it. At S.M.A.K., collecting and exhibiting go hand in hand and this makes us unique.’
Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K.
Ensembles that have grown over time
The S.M.A.K. collection, which currently consists of 2,000 works, is the result of various parties actively collecting for more than fifty years: the Museum of Fine Arts (from 1957 to 1975), the Association of the Museum of Contemporary Art (from 1957 to the present) and the Museum of Contemporary Art / S.M.A.K. itself (from 1975). It also includes works the Flemish Community and private collectors have given on long-term loan.
The existing ‘historical’ collection of S.M.A.K. is the starting point for temporary exhibitions and for the further development of the collection itself. The collection is not encyclopaedic, but is the result of specific choices and years of dealing with art and artists. The new acquisitions present themselves autonomously and independently from trends. By focusing on diverse ensembles, a longstanding relationship with artists and a lasting commitment, S.M.A.K. takes a bold stance on the possible present-day role of a museum of contemporary art.
“S.M.A.K. in Ghent is a museum that is close to my heart. I have felt greatly supported by the museum since as early as the beginning of the 90s, then with Jan Hoet at the helm and now with Philippe Van Cauteren. It is a museum that is close to the artist and to the public. It is a warm, fine museum.
In ENSEMBLEMATIC it is not only the history and vision of the museum that resonates, but also and especially unique relationships with individual artists. Each room provides space for one ensemble. Apart from representative works, the selection also focuses on surprising and atypical works in an artist’s oeuvre. Consequently, for Panamarenko it displays mainly small objects rather than his flying machines, and Luc Tuymans’ work also includes drawings and stamps. Various artists, including Leo Copers, Mark Manders and Thierry De Cordier were consulted on the display of their work.
Image: Jan Fabre
Eline Verbauwhede: tel: +32 (0)9 2407660 or mobile: +32 (0)479 270604 firstname.lastname@example.org
S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst
Citadelpark, 9000 Ghent Belgium
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm.
Closing time cash-desk: 30 minutes before closing of the museum
€ 6: individual visitor
€ 4,5: groups from 15 persons, under-25s, over-60s, students
€ 1: young people under the age of 26
Free: for children up to and included the age of 18, disabled and persons