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S.M.A.K. Belgium presents Philippe Van Snick: dynamic project

October 22, 2022–March 5, 2023

The first significant overview show of Belgian artist Philippe Van Snick’s work after his passing in 2019 is launched by S.M.A.K. Ten museum galleries are taken up by the dynamic project, which alludes to the decimal system (0–9) that runs throughout Van Snick’s diverse body of work. Alongside well-known pieces come unexpected, lesser-known ones.

The exhibition is intended to be a walk through his body of work, via his early sculptures that examined time and space, conceptual photography, as well as short films and paintings. Marta Mestre and Luk Lambrecht are the exhibition’s curators.

Special focus is placed on Philippe Van Snick’s extensive, ongoing, and avant-garde public art initiatives. Limited-edition publications, periodicals, and one-of-a-kind papers are also included, the bulk of which have never been seen before. Van Snick’s private living space in Brussels, his French home and garden, and his lifelong passion with nature’s exquisite cycles and structures are also highlighted.

Van Snick included a flexible system—one that is both mathematical and artistic in nature—into his process. He created his own alphabet, made up of the ten numerals (0–9) and a ten-color palette, as early as the 1970s. Red, yellow, and blue are primary colors in this color scheme. Orange, green, and violet are secondary colors. White and black are non-colors (gold and silver). Later, he added pale blue. Van Snick created a focused visual language by sparingly using materials and methods. He took note of the intricacy of life and the surroundings, then converted his observations and reflections into clear-cut pictures. Due to the urge for freedom, openness, and non-conformism that his work expresses, it is almost impossible to classify.

The body of work by Philippe Van Snick lacks any sudden style shifts. His intentions more clearly emerge during a meandering reflective process. His artwork is distinguished by a sentimental undertone, a discrete aesthetic gesture, and the echoes of fragility. In his artwork, he experimented with natural materials naturally and added geometric additions to complete the look.

Curators: Luk Lambrecht & Marta Mestre 

Discover more within the framework of the exhibition:

–“Limited publication”—Archive Revisited
dynamic project II
The Project

In the galleries
–Griet Teck—Visual essay: à la rencontre de l’intensité in collaboration with Marijke De Keukeleire and the Philippe Van Snick Estate: 
on display in the Barcozaal (ground floor, S.M.A.K.).
–10 activations by dancer and choreographer Mooni Van Tichel, spread throughout the duration of the exhibition and based on Van Snick’s use of the decimal system.
​–Frames: a composition for Philippe Van Snickthe Abel Ghekiere Band will perform a concert in the exhibition galleries on December 1, 2022 at 8pm.

Museum Square
–Flags BrusselPastelBruxelles, resumption of A Temporary Monument for Brussels #4, 2019, in collaboration with artlead.

In MSK Gent
Eclips II, 1978–2022

Jan Hoetplein 1
9000 Ghent
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Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

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