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Works of Minimal Art have occupied a significant place in our acquisition policy since the very start of the Museum of Contemporary Art (now SMAK) in 1975.

In parallel with the exhibition of work by John McCracken, who is also a Minimal artist, on the ground floor of the museum, a number of works related to this historical art movement are being presented in the two wings of the upper floor. They include pieces by such prominent artists as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Mangold, the first to practise Minimal Art. These works are brought face to face with those of internationally renowned artists who combine forms and materials inspired by Minimal Art with a content that refers to typically contemporary subjects. This presentation of part of the collection is intended to show the impact of Minimal Art on European artists, and to take a look at the way these ideas have influenced the art produced today all around the world. Minimal Art first appeared in the United States, in the course of the sixties, as a reaction against Abstract Expressionism, which emphasised the artist’s personal form of expression in the work of art. The Minimal artists no longer wanted to create art in which the viewer was able to lose themselves in the painted surface. This is why most works of Minimal Art were three-dimensional. Its aim was to distil out the essence of the work of art. This essence lies not in the work itself, but in the relationship between the object, the viewer and the exhibition space. By keeping the form as simple as possible, Minimal Art focused on the way the viewer looked, and on the relationship between the object and the surrounding space. This resulted in simple, neutral volumes, usually made of such industrial materials as plywood, Perspex and metal, and which were placed directly in the exhibition space. Withn works by: Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Joe Scanlan, Jan Vercruysse, Robert Mangold, Royden Rabinowitch, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, ....

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