The Collection (1) | 20 years of S.M.A.K.

16 Mar 2019 – 29 Sep 2019

Event times

Tuesday – Friday 09:30 – 17:30
Saturday – Sunday, public holidays, school holidays 10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

15 euro individually, 13 euro reduction holders, 2 euro youngsters 19-26 y., up to 18 y. free admission.

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On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, S.M.A.K. is presenting this exhibition which includes about 200 works from the collection and, like the opening in 1999, it will occupy the whole museum.


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.

Three key works from the S.M.A.K. collection will also be returning temporarily to the place where they were initially created – the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) – under the heading ‘There & Back’: Panamarenko’s 'The Aeromodeller' 'Wirtschaftswerte' by Joseph Beuys and 'Le Décor et son Double' by Daniel Buren. The second, private part of this work can be visited at the Herbert Foundation once a month during the course of the exhibition.

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. 


Philippe Van Cauteren

Exhibiting artists

Gilberto Zorio

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

Chuck Close

Thierry De Cordier

Sam Durant

Franky D.C

Kathe Burkhart

Ricardo Brey

Francis Alÿs

Jan Van Imschoot

Saskia Olde Wolbers

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Leo Copers

Korakrit Arunanondchai

Javier Téllez

Lee Kit

Giovanni Anselmo

Harold Ancart

Jan Fabre

Richard Venlet

Robert Gober

Robert Gober

Koen van den Broek

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

Jac Leirner

David Hockney

David Hockney

Mark Manders

Surasi Kusolwong

Danny Matthys

Sven 't Jolle

Belu-Simion Fainaru

Peter Downsbrough

Koenraad Dedobbeleer

Johanna Billing

Louise Lawler

Oscar Murillo


Artur Barrio

Sven Augustijnen

Wim Delvoye

Marcel Broodthaers

Joachim Koester

Guillaume Bijl

Michael E. Smith

Vincent Geyskens

Luc Tuymans

Andras Halasz

Gaston Bertrand

Dara Birnbaum

Jean-Pierre Raynaud

Ann Veronica Janssens

Stanley Brouwn

Meggy Rustamova

Carl Andre

Carsten Nicolai

Lili Dujourie

Miroslaw Balka

John Baldessari

Zvi Goldstein

Art & Language

Oswald Oberhuber

Herman Van Ingelgem

Jim Dine

Englebert Van Anderlecht

Kader Attia

Raymond Hains

Nicolas Provost

Royden Rabinowitch

Meret Oppenheim

Verlust der Mitte

Mekhitar Garabedian

Urs Pfannenmüller

Gerhard Richter

Walter Swennen

Werner Mannaers

Annika Larsson

Heide Hinrichs

Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren

Marinus Boezem

Bjarne Melgaard

Luc Deleu

Anri Sala

Rein Dufait

Nairy Baghramian

Karin Hanssen

Michaël Borremans

Tatjana Gerhard

Wilhelm Sasnal

Allora & Calzadilla

Pierre Bismuth

Nikolaas Demoen

Salam Atta Sabri

Philippe Van Snick

Henk Visch

Jorge Macchi

Tove Storch

Jef Geys

Rinus Van de Velde

Narcisse Tordoir

Adrian Ghenie

Bernd Lohaus

Joris Ghekiere

Joana Escoval

Bart Stolle

François Morellet

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Nedko Solakov

Johan De Wilde

Massimo Bartolini

Marlene Dumas

Christoph Fink

Lois Weinberger

Wolf Vostell

Raoul De Keyser

Adam Vackar

Richard Artschwager


Manfred Pernice

Henrik Olesen

Sophie Nys

Jordan Wolfson

Robert Therrien

Zhang Peili

Henri Michaux

Berlinde De Bruyckere

Hamza Halloubi

Pascale Marthine Tayou

James Welling

Nina Canell

Charbel-joseph H. Boutros

David hammons


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