Jan Hoet was born in Leuven, Belgium. Throughout his career, he was often referred to in the press as a former boxer (he pursued the sport in college) and several times expressed an admiration for Mike Tyson. His international reputation was first established by "Chambres d'Amis, " an innovative exhibition he organized in Ghent in 1986. In that show, about 50 American and European artists were invited to create works for 50 private homes in Ghent, which were then opened to the public for several weeks. Subsequently, he managed several important exhibitions all over the world.
Hoet curated Documenta IX in Kassel in 1992, presenting several hundred works by 190 artists from nearly 40 countries. Hoet served as the curator of the SMAK from 1975 until his retirement in 2003.As part of the 2000 "Over the Edges" exhibition in Ghent, he let artist Jan Fabre drape columns of a university auditorium in slabs of ham. After retiring, in 2003, he became artistic director for the museum MARTa Herford in Herford (Germany) and collaborated with architect Frank Gehry on its design. The inaugural show in 2005 called "My Private Heroes" was an eclectic mix of works by artists including Marina Abramovic, Chris Burden, Gavin Turk, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joseph Beuys as well as history paintings, ephemera and a yellow jersey worn by a Tour de France winner. On 17 June 2012 Jan Hoet collapsed at the airport in Hamburg. On 23 June 2012, while being repatriated to Ghent, Hoet suffered from hypercapnia and he was being held in a coma at the hospital of Soltau.
Hoet was repatriated to Ghent. In January 2014 Hoet suffered a second heart attack. He died in a hospital in Ghent on 27 February 2014 and was buried in the Cemetery of Campo Santo.In 1992, a Belgian magazine named Hoet one of the 10 sexiest people in Belgium. At the news of his death, the Belgian prime minister Elio Di Rupo tweeted that the Belgian art world "loses a father". "He was invaluable, " painter Luc Tuymans said of Hoet, who bought his first work and was instrumental in making Tuymans a global name in contemporary painting.
Marina Abramovic is a New York-based Serbian performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over four decades, her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Abramovic was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale. In 2008, she was decorated with the Austrian Commander Cross for her contribution to art history. In 2010, Abramovic had her first major U.Retrospective and simultaneously performed for 716 hours in "The Artist is Present" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During this performance, Abramovic engaged in mutual gaze with more than one thousand strangers over the course of three months. Over 750,000 visitors came to see "The Artist Is Present" and Abramovic was inspired by the general public's desire to engage with immaterial works.
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