Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and de Appel arts centre offer a six-part crash course in contemporary art. The course is offered twice, during Spring 2013 at de Appel and during Fall 2013 at Witte de With. The sessions are always held between 7 and 9pm. Sign-up for the fall-classes at Witte de With is now open! All sessions are held in Dutch (but one), and take place in the auditorium at Witte de With, on the 1st floor.

Would you like to know more about contemporary art, but are you uncertain of where to begin? Would you like to find out what ‘performance art’ is exactly, whether the concept of beauty is still relevant in today’s art or why Chinese artists are so popular right now? Then sign up for this six-part thematic course that is jointly organized by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and de Appel arts centre. This crash course offers clear information and interpretation concerning current trends in contemporary art. Each lesson will be presented by experts who are active in the art world. Participating in this course does not require prior knowledge of the subject matter. KUNST NU is open to all who want to find out what’s happening in art today.


Date: 18 September 2013
Speaker: Alex de Vries (Dutch spoken)
We start this course off by asking a major question: What is conceptual art? This artistic revolution, with its origins in the 1960s, is still influencing today’s artists. But what is meant by a ‘conceptual work of art’? And what exactly is a ‘concept’?


Date: 2 October 2013
Speaker: Defne Ayas (English spoken)
Over the past years China has not only become an economic and political superpower, but also became a major player in the field of art. Who are the most important Chinese artists? In what way does Chinese art differ from, for example, European art? And what makes Chinese art so popular right now?


Dates: 16 October 2013
Speakers: Marcel Feil / Kim Knoppers (Dutch spoken)
Since its invention in the 19th century, photography has occupied a special niche; somewhere in-between the media and the fine arts. By many, the photographer was considered to be more of a craftsman than an artist. However, since the advent of so-called ‘conceptual photography’- for example by Bernd and Hilla Becher – it has obtained a permanent place in contemporary art. But what is it exactly that distinguishes a publicity shot or a documentary photo from an ‘art photograph’?


Date: 23 October 2013
Speaker: Eva Wittocx (Dutch and English spoken)
Since the second half of the 20th century a large number of artists have exchanged painting and sculpting for a less familiar medium: the ‘performance’, a live action or event. In the 1970s, body artists often viewed a ‘performance’ as a one-off moment, a sort of anti-theatrical event performed by the artists themselves. By contrast, current-day artists frequently use scripts and actors for more theatrical performance art. What is the origin of the ‘performance’ and in what way is it different from traditional theatre or dance?


Dates: 13 November 2013
Speaker: Edo Dijksterhuis (Dutch spoken)
In the art world, the name Damien Hirst refers to much more than just the British artist. After all, he was the ‘curator’ who put the Young British Artists at the center of public attention with the 1988 exhibition Freeze. When Hirst dared to sell his new work directly at auction in 2008, this generated a shockwave through the art world. His work, and more particularly the way in which it is sold, has dramatically changed the art market. But what is the actual impact that Hirst has made and how long will his influence last?


Dates: 4 December 2013
Speaker: Berend Strik (Dutch spoken)
The word ‘art’ is most frequently associated with the art of painting. Great masters such as Van Eyck and Caravaggio still fire the imagination and have the power to impress. But which present day artists will write tomorrow’s history? And why do paintings continue to sell so unabatedly well? Will new techniques eventually cause the demise of the paint brush and canvas?

By many, contemporary art is perceived as higher mathematics or as a brainteaser requiring a ‘solution’. It is also often thought that only specialized knowledge will give access to the art that is made today. A frequently heard statement is that contemporary art should be ‘understood’ in order to be appreciated.

This crash course’s point of departure is the exact opposite; the enjoyment of contemporary art is accessible to everyone. However, sound and clear background information will certainly add to the experience and appreciation of all different aspects of art.

In little time, and in a pleasant way, KUNST NU will enable you to understand the history and context of contemporary art on the basis of not only facts and examples, but also of interesting anecdotes and tidbits.

This course focuses on art from the 1960s until the present, here in Europe but also in Asia, Africa and (Latin) America. The approach is not chronological, but thematic; starting from concepts and questions that are relevant in today’s contemporary art and art exhibition practices. All speakers are professionals – critics, museum directors and curators – who do not look at art from a distance, but live and work with art on a daily basis. They closely follow new artistic developments and are willing to share their up-to-date insights, preferences and insider knowledge with you!


Related Items