The collection XXXIII – The Collection as a Character


M HKA, Antwerpen

07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013

The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; the exploration of the new world order with multiple hubs; the discussion about the former types of images; the articulation of the importance of the performative character and socially engaged dimension of contemporary art. 

The character of the collection was an attempt to revisit our collection after 25 years of spontaneous creativity: views expressed by powerful personalities, opportunities that presented themselves, restrictions that spawned innovative solutions.

The key to the character sketch of our collection was the ensemble: a coherent group of works, both in terms of quantity and quality, was interesting enough to be seen as more than a number or series of works.

This exhibition and the accompanying book presented some 20 ensembles that helped us to understand the collection of the M HKA. Some of the ensembles consisted of work by prominent Flemish artists such as Vaast Colson, Luc Deleu, Jan Fabre, Show Tersas, Luc Tuymans and Panamarenko. M HKA has major ensembles of artists from other parts of the world, including James Lee Byars, Jimmie Durham, C.K. Rajan and a number of artists from the former Soviet Union, India, China and North Africa. Alse there are other types of ensembles, such as the Vrielynck Collection, with items from the history of cinema, as well as the archives from the 1970s of Antwerp’s International Cultural Centre (ICC).

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