The city of Ghent is renowned for its rebellious spirit, and its contemporary art museum mirrors the dynamic and unconventional nature of Ghent itself. Considered Belgium's most significant collection of contemporary art, the museum houses world-famous artworks from both Belgium and abroad. Its permanent collection encompasses outstanding Belgian and international works by artists from Cobra, pop art, minimal art, conceptual art, and arte povera movements, who have attained global acclaim. Additionally, the museum regularly exhibits diverse works by contemporary artists from around the globe, changing every three months. The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.) serves as a platform for experimentation and innovation, shedding light on what will shape the future of art.
Since March 2019, S.M.A.K. has benefited from an extensive collection inventory, spanning across seven volumes. This richly illustrated publication features over 300 texts discussing the most notable artists represented in the collection. The six volumes are organized alphabetically, presenting entries for each of the 2,000 artworks within the collection, accompanied by an image and essential information for each piece.
In addition to photographs, the publication includes over 300 texts about the collection's prominent artists. These texts have been written by various authors over the past five years, including Katrien Blanchaert, Jo Coucke, Isabelle De Baets, Marie Decoodt, Ory Dessau, Wouter De Vleeschouwer, Lotte Devoeght, Martin Germann, Julie Verheye, and Thibaut Verhoeven. The six-volume set also features an accompanying essay section, containing insightful contributions on the history and present status of the S.M.A.K. collection, written by Philippe Van Cauteren and Thibaut Verhoeven.
Given the extensive content, the main challenge of this project was to design a dynamic layout that respects the material. It was crucial to ensure cohesion and coherence among all the elements. The publication spans 2,452 pages, divided into six volumes, and maintains an alphabetical organization throughout.
Client: S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art Services: Book Design Location: Ghent, Belgium Year: 2018 Together with Jan&Randoald