For more than five decades, the Antwerp art collector and dealer Ronny Van de Velde has been organising pioneering and remarkable exhibition projects, which have made him one of Belgium's most important connoisseurs and defenders of a variety of artistic vanguards. His exhibitions included some of the greatest names of twentieth-century art: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, René Magritte, Joseph Beuys, Francis Picabia, Pierre Alechinsky, Panamarenko... In a five-part series of small-scale presentations, the M HKA aims to evoke the history of his unique gallery.
Part 1: Jef Geys, Digestible Art, Bread and Vegetables
The first part is devoted to Jef Geys with a reconstruction of his legendary 1968 exhibition Digestible Art. At the time, Geys set up the space at Galerie Kontakt as a neighbourhood shop with staple products: cabbages, sprouts and heart-shaped breads, wrapped in plastic and placed on pedestals and on sale for 1,000 Belgian francs. This is followed by the historical happening actions in Antwerp; an exploration of the notion of the portable museum, from Duchamp's playful Boîte-en-valise and Marcel Broodthaers' plastic relief plates to the contemporary cabinet of curiosities of Museum to Scale 1/7. As such, the animated atmosphere of the gallery is brought back to life in a kaleidoscope of photo images and documents. The series concludes with a presentation on humour, ridicule and radical experimentation in Belgian art, from the mysterious Zwans exhibitions right up to the present day.
Part 2: Happenings and Happening News
Part 3: Museum/Museum in question
Deel 4: Humour in Belgian art (1830-2023)
Part 5: Galerie Ronny Van de Velde