De Gentse Collectie
21 July – 16 September 1984
Middelburg Abbey (Map)
Curator: Jan Hoet
A selection from the collection of the Ghent Museum of Contemporary Art in the Vleeshal and the Abbey of Middelburg. Met Pierre Alechinsky, Arman, Francis Bacon, Robert Barry, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Bram Bogart, Marcel Broodthaers, Michael Buthe, Louis Cane, Christo, Francesco Clemente, Chuck Close, Hanne Darboven, Ad Dekkers, Jan Dibbets, Braco Dimitrijevic Jim Jou, Miklos Erdely, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, David Hockney, Tatsumi Kudo, Bernd Lohaus, Lucassen, Marc Mendelson, Francois Morellet, Bruce Nauman, Giulio Paolini, Martial Raysse, Ettore Spalletti, Villéglé, Lawrence Weiner, Gilberto Zorio & Hugo Claus, Leo Copers, Amadée Cortier, Jan Cox, Raoul de Keyser, Roel D'Haese, Étienne Elias, Danny Matthys, Antoine Mortier, Roger Raveel, Dan Vanseveren, Phillipe Vansnick, Jan Vercruysse.
With a forum discussion: "The private and governmental collective policy", including: Andreas Oosthoek, Leendert Couprie, Karel Geirlandt, Hein van Haaren, Jan Hoet, Eric Schutijzer, Marinus Boezem.
Vleeshal is a unique center for contemporary art, not only because of its atypical exhibition space and exciting programming, but also because it has a collection. In the 1990s, under the impetus of then director Lex ter Braak, an ambitious collection of contemporary visual art was begun. This collection was intended for a newly envisioned museum in Middelburg, with the working title Museum IX/13.
The collection concerns two blocks, on the one hand national and local art from the BKR scheme (the abbreviation BKR refers to the Dutch Artist Subsidy Scheme, unique in the world, which from 1949 until 1987 provided artists with a (temporary) income in exchange for artworks or other artistic compensations). On the other hand a start to a radically international collection of contemporary art, with a few large ensembles by a limited number of artists (including Jimmie Durham, Nedko Solakov, Suchan Kinoshita, Cameron Jamie, Pippilotti Rist and Job Koelewijn), but too few to be able to have a real impact without further collection development. The city of Middelburg decided not to build this museum and not to continue the collection. The impetus of developing a collection had thus lost its possible context and visibility and encumbered Vleeshal, for whom the collection had become a storage cost and management issue.
Given the close historical ties between Middelburg and Antwerp, M HKA's collection profile and the fact that Bart De Baere was a member of the advisory committee in the composition of the Vleeshal collection, it was given to M HKA on long-term loan. M HKA gave this collection a public existence by valorizing the artworks in its collection exhibition policy.
There has been no active acquisition policy for years. The collection is expanded here and there with sporadic purchases and donations from artists who are part of the Vleeshal program.