The collection XXXII – Personality Test + The Book Lovers


M HKA, Antwerpen

07 December 2012 - 21 April 2013

2013 was the ‘year of the collection’. Two large exhibitions and an extensive book put the contents of the M HKA collection on the map and portrayed it as a ‘personality’ or ‘character’.

The M HKA collection comprises some 3,000 works by about 500 different artists from the 60s to today. The Antwerp International Cultural Centre (ICC), the M HKA’s predecessor, founded the Gordon Matta-Clark Foundation in the late 70s. Those works, together with the ICC archives, constitute the historical basis of the collection of the M HKA, which has continued to grow thanks to purchases, donations and long-term loans, mainly from the Flemish Community and the Vleeshal in Middelburg

There is no permanent presentation of the collection, but it will be constantly on display in various kinds of exhibitions. The two collection presentations in 2013 were intended as an ‘ideal’ of what had been collected over the 25 years the museum had existed: perfectly intriguing, perfectly diverse and perfectly located in Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium, Europe and the world.

Personality Test was a deliberately unsystematic beginning of the effort to create an image, a warming-up exercise for the major summer exhibition The character of a collection. The artists ranged from international stars to local legends.

During Collection XXXII, a remarkable sub-collection of the M HKA was presented, consisting of novels by contemporary artists. This involved The Book Lovers, a collection which was researched and compiled by David Maroto and Joanna Zielinska.


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