To celebrate its 20th anniversary, S.M.A.K. presented ‘The Collection (I): Highlights for a Future’ (16 March – 29 September 2019). From 1 October to 3 November 2019, some eighty works from the exhibition can still be seen on the upper floor of the museum, which remains open in its entirety. The Broodthaerskabinet can also be visited. The ground floor is closed for the installation of two new exhibitions.
In this exhibition, S.M.A.K. wants to look mainly at the present and the future. Well-known classics, outstanding newer works and also recent additions to the collection are to be used to show the position of the museum and of art in contemporary reality and to make new links with other, sometimes surprising and less well-known works in the collection.
‘The Collection (I): Highlights for a Future’ starts out expressly from the present-day conclusion that it is currently impossible to capture the social reality and the art world in one overarching linear storyline or concept. Inspired partly by the architecture of the S.M.A.K. building, the exhibition has been divided into seven sub-presentations, each of which spotlights a number of current trends in society and/or the art world and illustrates them with works from the museum collection. In addition to these proposed guidelines, the exhibition is intended in the first place to be a generous hand extended to the visitor. Visitors are warmly invited to immerse themselves in the labyrinth of contemporary art and to discover for themselves possible connections between the various artworks from the museum’s collection.
Lastly, the underlying dimension of ‘The Collection (I): Highlights for a Future’ is – as the title suggests – the need to create a proper building for contemporary art in Ghent so that the collection can be permanently displayed and housed under the best circumstances both in the museum and the reserves.
With works by Harold Ancart, Giovanni Anselmo, Art & Language, Richard Artschwager, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Salam Atta Sabri, Nairy Baghramian, John Baldessari, Massimo Bartolini, Gaston Bertrand, Guillaume Bijl, Dara Birnbaum, Pierre Bismuth, Michaël Borremans, Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Ricardo Brey, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Kathe Burkhart, Nina Canell, Chuck Close, Leo Copers, N. Dash, Franky D.C, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Raoul De Keyser, Johan De Wilde, Luc Deleu, Wim Delvoye, Jim Dine, Peter Downsbrough, Rein Dufait, Lili Dujourie, Sam Durant, Joana Escoval, Jan Fabre, Jef Geys, Tatjana Gerhard, Vincent Geyskens, Joris Ghekiere, Adrian Ghenie, Robert Gober, Zvi Goldstein, Karin Hanssen, Heide Hinrichs, David Hockney, Ann Veronica Janssens, Louise Lawler, Lee Kit, Bernd Lohaus, Jorge Macchi, Mark Manders, Werner Mannaers, Danny Matthys, Bjarne Melgaard, Henri Michaux, François Morellet, Bruce Nauman, Carsten Nicolai, Sophie Nys, Oswald Oberhuber, Meret Oppenheim, Manfred Pernice, Royden Rabinowitch, Jean Pierre Raynaud, Wilhelm Sasnal, Michael E. Smith, Nedko Solakov, Bart Stolle, Tove Storch, Walter Swennen, Robert Therrien, Sven 't Jolle, Narcisse Tordoir & Vincent Geyskens, Luc Tuymans, Adam Vackar, Englebert Van Anderlecht, Rinus Van de Velde, Jan Van Imschoot, Herman Van Ingelgem, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Philippe Van Snick, Henk Visch, Lois Weinberger, James Welling and Gilberto Zorio.