The collection XXIX – Spirits of Internationalism: 6 European Collections 1956-1986


M HKA, Antwerpen

20 January 2012 - 29 April 2012

Curated by Bart De Baere, Jan De Vree, Anders Kreuger (M HKA) en Charles Esche and Steven ten Thije (Van Abbe Museum)


Spirits of Internationalism took place simultaneously at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and at the M HKA. The exhibition was a reflection on the tension between the international and various regional and local art scenes. They revalued the often ambiguous relationship of the Belgian/Flemish and Dutch art scene of the 60s and 70s against the domination of international and canonised art.

The works on display come from six European collections, including four museums and two artistic archives. They were created between 1956 and 1986, a period of rapid economic and technological developments, but also strained international relations.

Spirits of Internationalism showed how the reality of the Cold War influenced art and gave a different meaning to the concepts of 'international' and 'regional'. The exhibition wanted to debunk the simplified concept of the ‘three worlds’ by showing famous and less famous artworks in surprising constellations. These were by a mix of internationally renowned artists and artists who deserved recognition outside their own region.

Spirits of Internationalism was the final part of a series of exhibitions organised by the European cooperation project L’Internationale. The partners in this project are the M HKA in Antwerp, MACBA in Barcelona, ​​Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, Július Koller Society in Bratislava and KwieKulik Archive in Warsaw.

Artists at the M HKA: Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Alighiero e Boetti, Marinus Boezem, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Victor Burgin, James Lee Byars, André Cadere, Jef Cornelis, Herman de Vries, Luciano Fabro, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), Hans Haacke, René Heyvaert, Jenny Holzer, Jörg Immendorff, Robert Indiana, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Anselm Kiefer, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Guy Mees, Cildo Meireles, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Bruce Nauman, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Jan Schoonhoven, Nancy Spero, Frank Stella, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Victor Vasarely, Andy Warhol and Lawrence Weiner.

Artists at the Van Abbemuseum: Alain Arias-Misson, James Lee Byars, Luc Deleu, Lili Dujourie, Esther Ferrer, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), Jeff Geys, Tomislav Gotovac, Grup de Treball, Tibor Hajas, Július Koller, KwieKulik, Fina Miralles, François Morellet, Antoni Muntadas, OHO, Panamarenko, Józef Robakowski, Jan Schoonhoven, Mladen Stilinoviæ and Toon Tersas.

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