Stories from the Ground

“Painting not only serves as a window into the world and the artists’ minds but can also be contemplated from a shared perspective: the ground upon which every artist, every person, every being stands. This goes beyond a mere metaphor for the ecological challenges of our time; it acts as a universal denominator on a planetary scale.”

— Curator Martin Germann

Shifting the focus from the horizon to the ground, Stories from the Ground brings together a selection of artists whose practices manifest the concept of “ground” in diverse ways: in literal terms like earth and the ground on which we lie, sit, stand, and walk; but also in the many ways artists engage with painting, as an age-old foundation that provides stability and support while constantly challenging existing ideas about art and mastery.

Departing from MDD’s collection, this Biennial exhibition explores some unconventional artistic practices. In this context, painting consistently plays a distinctive yet ever-changing role: as a dim, long-abandoned path, a tool for opening new perspectives, a tradition to be dismantled, or as an open language to tell stories.


Ellen Altfest, Kasper Bosmans, Vija Celmins, Edith Dekyndt, Laurent Dupont, Bracha L. Ettinger, Isa Genzken, Gabriel Hartley, Derek Jarman, Behrang Karimi, Stanislava Kovalcikova, Jannis Marwitz, Delcy Morelos, Dala Nasser, Loïc Raguenes, Lin May Saeed, Selma Selman, Vivian Suter, Kazuna Taguchi, Daniel Turner

From the collection of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens

Anne Bonnet, Hippolyte Daeye, Lili Dujourie, Esteban Fekete, Isa Genzken, Bernd Lohaus, Constant Permeke, Anna Staritsky, Niele Toroni, Edgar Tytgat

From the collection of the Andries-Vanlouwe Foundation

René Magritte, Gerhard Richter, Mitja Tušek


Martin Germann