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Thierry De Cordier, Michel François and Walter Swennen in An Imaginary Portrait

7 January—5 November 2023
Group Exhibition at SMAK, Ghent, Belgium

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Marc De Cock: An Imaginary Portrait paints an imaginary portrait of Marc De Cock through artworks from the Matthys-Colle Collection and S.M.A.K. The selection represents his personality and commitment and reads like a visual essay.

Featuring work by Dirk Braeckman, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Thierry De Cordier, Raoul De Keyser, Joel Fischer, Michel François, Gilbert & George, Ann Veronica Janssens, Mike Kelley, Bernd Lohaus, Attila Richard Lukacs, Bruce Nauman, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Thomas Schütte, Walter Swennen, Luc Tuymans, Richard Tuttle, Jan Van Imschoot, Philip Van Isacker and Franz West.

Marc De Cock succeeded Dr Roger Matthys as chairman of the Association for the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1979. He thus became the third chairman of the organisation to which present-day S.M.A.K. owes its existence. Together with Karel Geirlandt and Dr Roger Matthys, Marc De Cock can easily be called one of the imaginary architects of today’s museum.

Marc De Cock and his wife came into contact with the Association in the early 1960s via the organisation Jeugd en Plastische Kunst. His interest in contemporary art was also expressed in his contribution to the selection and organisation of various exhibitions, including Forum voor Grafiek in both 1969 and 1971, and Figuratie/Defiguratie in the Museum of Fine Arts in 1964. He was also appointed exhibition commissioner for Artisti (della Fiandra)/Artists (from Flanders), which was shown at the Venice Biennale in 1990. Marc De Cock created exhibitions with Willy De Sauter, Ann Veronica Janssens, Luc Tuymans, Mike Kelley and Robert Gober, amongst others, during his chairmanship of the Association (1979-1995).