A collection of artworks by more than 50 artists was donated to the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana by conceptual artist Jan Dibbets, in the late 1990s. All of these works were presented through an exhibition entitled “Best Wishes for 1999”, from March 29th to September 22nd, 2019 in the NGA premises, under the care of curator Arnisa Zeqo.


The works in question are from the 70s-80s and 90s and convey the Western artistic spirit. Jan Dibbets requested these works from the respective authors in order to donate them to the NGA. The various works are presented in the form of photography, drawing, printing on various materials and collage and in themselves they constitute a representation of conceptual art, where, the relationship of the body to the outer and inner space is under deliberation. Their donation serves as another path of artistic enlightenment as the NGA only displayed collections of socialist realism.

This exhibition includes creations by the following artists: Marina Abramović, Pierre Alechinsky, Giovanni Anselmo, Karel Appel, Eduardo Arroyo, Frank Auerbach, John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Georg Baselitz, Ross Bleckner, Stanley Brouwn, Günter Brus, Daniel Buren, Patrick Caulfield, Hanne Darboven, Richard Deacon, Nicola De Maria, Christo dhe Jeanne-Claude, Jan Dibbets, Helmut Federle, Günther Förg, Leon Golub, Dan Graham, Georg Herold, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Douglas Huebler, Cristina Iglesias, Alex Katz, Mike Kelley, Mark Kostabi, Konrad Klapheck, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Sarah Lucas, Markus Lüpertz, Brice Marden, Allan McCollum, Guy Mees, Juan Muñoz, Mimmo Paladino, Gilbert dhe George, Jaume Plensa, Edward Ruscha, Marien Schouten, Thomas Schütte, Richard Serra, Niele Toroni, Toon Verhoef, Didier Vermeiren, Carel Visser, Lawrence Weiner, Jan Voss.

These works of art, like art in general, had the main purpose of disseminating knowledge of human interaction through art, and this occurred during difficult political and social times for Albania and Kosovo. Also, this collection was donated at a time when the opportunities for cultural exchange (including the Internet) were limited. Beyond the universal language, these works undoubtedly convey the personal experiences of their respective creators.

Throughout their display at NGA, the exhibition has also served as a backdrop for the presentation of other art disciplines such as performance through an educational and public program.

* Arnisa Zeqo was born in Tirana and grew up in Rome. She is an art historian, curator and educator based in Amsterdam. She was recently (2015-2017) working for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, responsible for the education programs (aneducation) in Athens and initiator of the Society of Friends of Ulises Carrion within the Parlament of Bodies. She co founded the art space rongwrong in 2011 in Amsterdam.