“Many of the rooms at M will look completely different from 10 July. That is when M is opening three thematic presentations with new selections of pieces from its rich and varied collection. In these presentation, old masters and contemporary art engage in dialogue, and age-old traditions are brought back to life in confrontation with the present”, says Denise Vandevoort, Chair of the Board of Governors of M.
‘Take Your Time’: M challenges you really to look at art
In an age in which we spend an average of 23.68 seconds looking at an artwork – including taking a selfie – M seeks to be a place where visitors are challenged to take their time, reflect, and really look at art. Hence the title of the new collection presentation ‘Take Your Time’. The exhibition raises questions about the role of time in art, ranging from seasons to the parallels between old masters and contemporary art. For example, a medieval calendar dial is juxtaposed with an abstract work by Ann Veronica Janssens.
‘Moved’: Art made to move and be moved
In the collection presentation ‘Moved’, visitors rediscover forgotten customs through extraordinary religious objects that were intended literally and figuratively to move and be moved. The exhibition includes the extensive wardrobe and silver accessories of a statue that was carried in procession, but also a house altar, precious reliquaries, and other exceptional cultic objects. Old rituals are brought back to life through personal testimonials and historical materials. At the same time, these historical traditions are confronted with contemporary forms of worship and veneration. There are more similarities between a pop concert and a house altar than one might spontaneously think. The link with Leuven is never far away: the majority of exhibited pieces come from important churches and historic sites in Leuven.
The Seven Sacraments: focus room around a masterpiece
The central work in the focus room ‘The Seven Sacraments’ is the Flemish masterpiece ‘Triptych with the Seven Sacraments’ by the Flemish Master Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400–1464). This masterpiece of medieval painting has been a guest at M since 2009, as a loan from KMSKA. The masterpiece is accompanied in this focus room by a number of rare artworks that date from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, which were all used in the rituals and customs related to the seven sacraments. A number of these items are absolute masterpieces of late medieval metalwork that come from important historical religious sites in Leuven.
‘Between Heaven and Earth: Experience Bouts’ Last Supper’
The restored Saint Peter’s Church in Leuven is the setting for a new permanent presentation of Flemish masterpieces, curated by M Leuven. The highlights are the two most important works by the Flemish Master Dieric Bouts: ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus’. A digital experience immerses visitors in the stories of the works in their historical context. Shortly after the initial opening on 7 March, the church was forced to close due to the coronavirus measures. From 10 July, visitors will again have the chance to discover the church’s art treasures and fascinating history.
All information about the digital experience and the family trail in diericbouts.be.