With Schöne Sentimenten, which will be presented this summer, the museum Dhondt-Dhaenens brings the potential of its collection to the fore. In the exhibition, core works from the museum’s own collection enter into dialogue with works from private collections which the MDD currently manages or would like to manage in the future. The whole is therefore not a classical, but rather an imaginary collection presentation. Real works of art are combined with reproductions so as to emphasize the importance, capacity and possibilities of the displayed collections.
The core of the exhibition consists of pieces from the Dhondt-Dhaenens, Matthys-Colle and Cooreman collections, each of which played an important role in the acceptance of modern and contemporary art in Flanders. Together they virtually span the entire 20th century and, as a whole, provide a particular perspective on different styles, genres and movements, ranging from Flemish Modernism from the museum’s own collection, to post-war Belgian and American art from the Matthys-Colle collection and contemporary, global art from the Cooreman collection.
Iconic works from the Dhondt-Dhaenens collection by, among others, Albert Servaes, Rik Wouters, Constant Permeke and James Ensor are confronted with established names such as Franz West and Thierry De Cordier, as well as young talent such as Sarah Baker and Lucy Mckenzie. The labyrinthine, striking scenography by Maxime Prananto opens possibilities for new associations and stimulates the imagination of the viewer.
Schöne Sentimenten refers to an eponymous edition by artist Jan Vercruysse, which is given a central place in the exhibition. The title implicitly alludes to the beauty, but also the fragility of a museum collection.
In the context of the historically-grown sensitivity of the Dhondt-Dhaenens museum to the significance of the committed art collector, the MDD pays special attention to public access, research and the presentation of committed Flemish private collections. Since 2007, Tanguy Eeckhout, former curator of the MDD, has conducted scientific research into private collections that have played an important role in the acceptance of contemporary art in Belgium and whose importance transcends the private sphere. This approach has been reflected, since hat time, in biennial collection presentations.