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Lectorate Art Theory & Practice

Professor: Janneke Wesseling

Today, research plays a major role in art education. Both artists and theorists are paying increasing attention to the theoretical aspects of artistic practice, as well as to the cognitive function of art works and design: art and design as a way of gaining knowledge about the world. The practice of contemporary artists and designers is, in many cases, characterised by continuous and critical (self-)reflection and research. The introduction of the Bachelor-Master structure at universities and universities of applied science on a European level also calls for reflection on aspects of research in art practices.

The lectorate Art Theory & Practice plays an important role in this field. The lectorate engages with the integration of theory and practice in art education. It has, among other things, initiated the Art Research Programme, which consists of interdisciplinary courses and stimulates research and critical reflection. Under the chairmanship of Janneke Wesseling, theory teachers have developed a specific outlook on theory education at the art academy. This outlook also informs the education curricula in general. The lectorate runs a research group consisting of tutors of the Royal Academy of Art who engage themselves with research in their practice. The lectorate organizes symposia, workshops and lectures with various partners.

Artistic research, or research in and through art, is a new academic discipline, based on the increasing engagement of artists and art theorists with the theoretical aspect of art practice. Over the past decades, the artist-as-researcher has become a familiar phenomenon. In the field of artistic research, the KABK collaborates closely with PhDArts, doctoral programme for visual artists and designers at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) at Leiden University. ACPA’s chief aim is to bring the arts and academic disciplines together on the highest level, in ways that do justice to both elements. ACPA stimulates and facilitates research that derives its insights from artistic practice. Artistic research at ACPA is founded on an expansion of the concept of (academic) knowledge and its dissemination. 

Janneke Wesseling is head of the lectorate Art Theory & Practice at the KABK and director of PhDArts. As of February 1, 2016 she has been appointed Professor at Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities, where she holds the chair in Practice and Theory of Research in the Visual Arts. Wesseling also writes as art critic for the daily Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

This research department has its own website.

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Last updated: 2016-09-16

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