Contemporary art in a psychiatric center: Fondation Francès at Dr. Guislain (Ghent)

'Tristan' (Sofie Muller, 2007; courtesy Fondation Francès)When in G(h)ent, why not visit Museum Dr. Guislain, on the premises of Belgium’s first psychiatric center (1876), for a summer exhibition aiming at a broader audience:  XXH (through October 6), or mankind (humanité, H) in its diversity (XX). It comprises some 100 works from the French Fondation Francès and is actually one part of an overview of this collection, assembled by Estelle & Hervé Francès. They have bought more than 300 works of art by now, by 145 artists from 30 countries. With works by Jan De Maesschalck, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre, Sophie Kuijken, Michael Matthys, Sofie Muller, Johan Muyle and Rinus Van de Velde they have included quite a few Belgian artists in their collection. You’ll find the other part of this overview in Senlis (45 km from Paris) at the Fondation. At Dr. Guislain, the works from Fondation Francès – with some big names such as Tracey Emin, Nan Goldin, Andres Serrano, Diane Arbus – are combined with objects from the Guislain collection, devoted to the history of psychiatry. As you visit XXH, don’t forget to drop by at a small exhibition with works by Gideon Kiefer in the other building and have a drink in the lovely, quiet courtyard.

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