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“good space, good shows” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK)

Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK)
Ranked #38 of 173 things to do in Ghent
Attraction details
Sussex, England
Level Contributor
750 reviews
211 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 312 helpful votes
“good space, good shows”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

It's always a gamble with contemporary art museums - sometimes you like the show, sometimes you don't. This time, I liked the show downstairs, but not the one upstairs. But that's the luck of the draw. Good space, intelligently curated.

Visited March 2014
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English first
East Dereham, Norfolk.
Level Contributor
137 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“"Weird and wacky"”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

Don’t know whether my understanding of “modern art” is out of date, but this museum houses some rather strange and unusual displays. Weird and wacky is a good all round description. There were some interesting pictures representing life on the front line for soldiers in WW1, but for the rest one really had to stretch one’s imagination to appreciate what was in the artist’s mind. Examples include a cloth used to clean a dirty window, a car splattered with paint, and a picture where the artist had fired bullets at the canvas to create the image. All very strange and thought evoking. Worth a visit just to see how the modern artist represents his work.

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A must see modern art museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2014 via mobile

Went to see the Re-Paint and Dirk Braekmann exhibitions. Not disappointed, well worth seeing and particulary impressed with the paintings - first time in a long while.

Setting good and well curated. Disappointing bookshop and cafe, during week, is a tea and coffee dispenser.

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Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forest of Dean, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Timing!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014 via mobile

I might have visited at the wrong time, they were about to set up new displays so there was very little to see. Staff were helpful, but it was not worth a visit. I would have been very disappointed if I had paid rather than visiting with a Ghent Card.

Visited February 2014
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Thank TOGsNotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leiden, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Sometimes brilliant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

SMAK doen't dsplay it's collection, but rather a continuum of several overlapping temporary exhibitions of both established and new artists.

SMAK can be one of my favorite contemporary museums in Europe -- provided it is doing what it does best; pushing boundaries. Unfortunately, every now and then, it seems SMAK fails to make even an effort. Sometimes, however, it offers the most rewarding visit to a museums in a year or even years.

The building itself serves its purpose well: the interior is light, unassuming, and spacious. You might have difficulty in finding the museum though, as most traffic and tourist signs fail to mention SMAK.

I visit Ghent at least once a year, and SMAK is always included on my itinerary. Experience has taught me to plan a visit well ahead by consulting the SMAK website and choosing which exhibitions are unmissable. That'll be the time to go. I can recommend you to do the same; just dropping by to see what's up is a lottery; you might end up hugely disappointed. If you plan it right, you might end up paying a visit to the best museum experience in years.

Visited June 2013
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Thank Adukaduk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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