On 20 October 2017 we kicked off a long-term project between the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK) and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.), in which we highlight and update our inextricable links and kinship. The historic ties between the two museums will inspire a series of encounters. Contemporary artworks will temporarily return to the space for which they were created or where they were presented for the first time. During the summer and the autumn of 2018, a monumental piece by Oswald Oberhuber entitled 'Carolus Magnus' returns to the MSK.
At the same time, both museums establish new relationships between ancient, modern and contemporary art through the exchange of meaningful works of art. In this way, a dynamic dialogue is created that simultaneously establishes the complementarity but also the uniqueness of both museums and their collections.
The start in 2017
The start of the new collaboration happened, among other things, with David Hammons' installation Chasing the Blue Train. It was reinstalled in the Lambeaux Room, the space where the work was first shown in Europe in 1991.
In addition, during autumn 2017, MSK included works by Antonio Saura and Serge Poliakoff in the historical collection, where they entered into dialogue with their artistic predecessors.
Oswald Oberhuber returns to the MSK
From 30.06 to 04.11.2018, we displayed a monumental canvas by Austrian artist Oswald Oberhuber (°1931) in the Lambeaux Room. The work, 'Carolus Magnus', was created especially for this space in 1984 and then returned to it temporarily. On this 35-metre-long frieze, Oberhuber created a panorama, both narrative and expressive, of a medieval battlefield with armoured soldiers, dying horses and tombstones adorned with crosses. A battlefield overseen by the crowned emperor Charlemagne, central in the picture.