In the light of MoMA's (New York) recent exhibition and publication about the Art & Project gallery and to tie in with research into the history of the Galerie MTL carried out by Koen Brams and Dirk Pultau, de Buren and Wiels are organizing a symposium on March 6th 2010. A number of speakers are invited to shed light on the individual and shared histories of the two galleries, their networks, exhibition chronology and the artists they worked with.
Founded in Brussels by visual artist, Romanist, art critic and theoretician Fernand Spillemaeckers in 1970, Galerie MTL provided the platform for more than a hundred exhibitions to which mainly the protagonists of so-called conceptual art lent their cooperation. Almost all the important artists of the time had an exhibition at the gallery and that exhibition proved crucial in their development. These artists included Sol LeWitt, Gilberto Zorio, Daniel Buren, André Cadere, Marcel Broodthaers, Jan Dibbets, Mel Bochner, Joseph Kosuth, Guy Mees, Hanne Darboven, John Baldessari and Robert Ryman.
The Amsterdam-based Art & Project gallery is legendary. In its 20-year existence, from 1968 to 1989, it supported an international group of artists associated with minimal and conceptual art, both by organizing exhibitions at the gallery and by distributing an information bulletin. The Art & Project Bulletin - a total of156 - enabled the gallery to build its artistic network at home and, indeed, worldwide by giving artists the opportunity to make 'exhibitions by post' in a format that was not restricted by time or place. The gallery worked with illustrious artists like Robert Barry, Alighiero e Boetti, Daniel Buren, William Leavitt, Sol LeWitt and Lawrence Weiner.
This symposium will explore the activities, significance and internationality' of MTL in Brussels and Art & Project in Amsterdam and in particular their close ties, which resulted in their sharing a gallery space in Antwerp.
- Koen Brams and Dirk Pültau: The work of Fernand Spillemaecker and the MTL program are the research topic of Koen Brams (director Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht) and Dirk Pültau (editor in chief De Witte Raaf, Brussels). Brams and Pültau have researched the archives of the gallery, owned by Spillemaeckers heirs, as well as other archives and countless testimonials (artists, gallery owners and collectors). Their study will be published in a forthcoming book.
- Nathalie Zonnenberg: PhD student at the Free University of Amsterdam. She works on a thesis on Art & Project and conceptual art in the Netherlands. Until 2002 she worked as curator for the Witte de With. She also contributes as freelance for magazines such as Metropolis M and Tubelight.
- Phillip Van Den Bossche: Director of the Kunstmuseum aan Zee Oostende. He studied the interactions between the conceptual artists of the West Coast and Art & Project. He is the author of a text published in the catalog accompanying the exhibition Art & Project at MoMA in Nyc
- Christophe Cherix: Curator at Moma, organizer of the recent exhibition at MoMA New York on the influence of the Art & Project Gallery: "In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976"
- Virginie Devillez: Historian at the MRBA Brussels, project manager of the Magritte Museum in 2008-2009. In the context of her thesis, Virginie Devillez researched the history of post-war Belgian galleries and their networks.