1986-2006: the PMMK, Ostend's modern art museum, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with a commemorative exhibition entitled 'Ensor and the avant-gardes at the seaside'.
Artists and crowned heads have always frequented the Belgian coast and the resort of Ostend. The first Belgian sovereigns, especially Leopold III and Queen Marie-Louise, but also James Ensor and Léon Spilliaert, came here to inhale the invigorating North Sea air. It was therefore natural to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the PMMK (Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst) around the tutelary figure of James Ensor whose Entry of Christ into Brussels and 35 other major works are being exhibited for the first time in Belgium. Around him have been grouped artists like Léon Spilliaert, Constant Permeke, Paul Devaux, René Magritte, Daumier, Munch and Alechinsky. The exhibition highlights the sources of the various avant-gardes – Symbolism, Expressionism, Abstraction, Surrealism – that have interspersed Belgian artistic life.
The PMMK was originally a ... supermarket, built in 1947 by the modernist architect from Ghent, Gaston Eysselinck. In 1986, the building changed use: the large volumes (wharehousing, sales areas, etc.), spread over five floors, were transformed to house the rich collections of modern art, exhibited on a rota basis.
It's the second edition of this event that seeks to combine culinary and artistic pleasures. Each of the 13 participating restaurants has commissioned an artist to create a plate for the occasion. Restaurant clients leave with this unique piece of crockery, a real work of art. The various participating restaurants serve many fish specialities.