Christophe Van Gerrewey – The quietness of reality. Dioramas and dias

This essay seizes upon two recent exhibitions – Dioramas in the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Diapositive. Histoire de la photographie projetée in Musée d’Élysée (Lausanne) — to explore and reflect on old media such as dioramas and slides and their use in the context of recent and contemporary art. Van Gerrewey moves on to a consideration of Christopher Nolan's recent film Dunkirk, which was filmed with IMAX cameras. He confronts its 'barrage of visual and aural stimuli' with a comment made by Franz Kafka in his diary after visiting the Kaiserpanorama that the quietness of the panorama image was more vivacious than moving images in film. Van Gerrewey concludes that multimedial 'novelties' leave less and less to the imagination and that 'mimesis' must be suggested in a subtle way rather than forced upon the viewer.

Diorama – transparency – Walter Benjamin – Christopher Nolan 


Fieke Konijn – The Collection as Time Machine. A plea for chronology in museum presentations

Konijn's text focusses on The Collection as Time Machine, a new display of the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam) composed by Carel Blotkamp. Konijn analyses the subtlety of Blotkamp's chronological approach – on the one hand stressing chronology in an extreme way, on the other hand intertwining different 'timelines' – and concludes that the time when chronological presentations of museum collections were viewed with suspicion has passed.

Carel Blotkamp – Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – Museology


Dirk Pültau — The Museum as Shop-window

This article discusses the reorganisation of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp (M HKA), which includes a new entrance hall and archive space and – for the first time in this museum – a permanent collection presentation. The author concludes that this renewal is no more than window dressing.

M HKA – Museology


Caroline Roodenburg – Overexposure of Flemish Art. The exhibition Walther Vanbeselaere, Collector for the State 1948-1973 in Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle

Roodenburg discusses the exhibition Walther Vanbeselaere, Collector for the State 1948-1973 held in Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (Belgium), which focusses on the acquisition policy pursued by Walther Vanbeselaere (1908-1988) as director of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and his role in the composition of the collection of the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens. She criticizes the overexposure of Flemish Art in the show and identifies inappropriate interventions by contemporary artists. 

Flemish Art – Modern Art – Walther Vanbeselaere


Daniël Rovers – Carel Willink in Ruurlo

This essay discusses the work, artistic attitude and cultural pessimism of Dutch artist Carel Willink (1900-1983). It takes a close look at a new monographic museum devoted to Willink’s work, consisting of works from the collection of Dutch businessman Hans Melchers, which recently opened in Ruurlo (The Netherlands).

Hans Melchers – Carel Willink (1900-1983)


Jeroen Boomgaard – Unsteady Balance in Münster. Public Space as Idea and Disillusion

This is a review of the fifth edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster, an exhibition of art in public space organised every ten years (since 1977) in Münster, Germany. Boomgaard distinguishes between two rough groups of works: fatalistic works that seem to confirm and accept the loss of public space through privatization; and those contributions that modestly suggest a possible alternative in creating places where sharing space still seems possible.

Art in Public Space – Site-specific Art – Skulptur Projekte 2017, Münster


Lieske Tibbe – Tumult in the City: the 'Tachtigers' and modern life

This essay discusses the show Tumult in the City. Dutch Artists of the 1880s, which is currently running at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Tibbe criticizes the show for its lack of clarity with regard to the specific intentions and agendas of these painters of the '1880's generation' and for mixing too many different phenomena of the period (impressionist painting, symbolist literature, arts and crafts furniture…) as if these were based on the same artistic foundations.

Dutch Art – 19th Century Art – 'Tachtigers'


Koen Brams – Twins. A conversation with Wybrand Ganzevoort on his life and work (until about 1964)

This extensive in-depth interview with Belgian artist Wybrand Ganzevoort (°1930) treats his life and work up to around 1964. Discussed are Ganzevoort's youth, his (art) education, his artistic environment and his early years as an artist. Special attention is given to his role in 'Group 58' (G 58), founded in Antwerp in 1958 with Ganzevoort as one of the founding members, and his part in the exhibitions organised by this important group.

Belgian art – group G 58 (Antwerp, 1958-1962) – postwar art – Wybrand Ganzevoort


Bart Verschaffel – What now? After 130 years of art criticism (in the Netherlands)

This text is based on a lecture given by Verschaffel on the occasion of a symposium entitled The Changing Language of Art Criticism: Past, Present and Future (Amsterdam). Verschaffel argues that the status and mediating role of the art critic is becoming more and more uncertain as a consequence of developments in the arts ('anything can be an art work'), the increasing abundance and free availability of images, and the decline of 'reflexivity' in our approach to art.

Art Criticism