An Italian Renaissance artist? French Surrealism in the 20th century? Do they even meet? Yes, they do, as I researched and wrote about. Just published: ‘The Incomparable Artist. Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello in surrealist discourse around 1930’ in 21: Inquiries into Art.
Joanna Pawlik wrote a wonderful book about Surrealism in the US - in particular, about the lesser known, because non-institutional, reception of interwar Bretonian Surrealism in the thought and work of American artists and writers well into the 1970s. My review of it (November 2022) was published on CAA reviews.
On Wednesdag 13 April (2022) I gave an invited talk at contemporary art centre De Appel on 'Milking the surrealist dream: the biennale, Leonora Carrington and fellow artists’. It was a wonderful evening. Under the spell of Leonora Carrington was hosted by Nina Folkersma and also featured an interview with artist Eva Bartels. See a registration of the programme here (my talk starts at ca. 12 mins).
The Art Newspaper interviewed me about the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum's surrealist collection and a donation they received (The Art Newspaper 20-1-2021): read it here.
To my great honour and pleasure I was involved in the pathbreaking exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders Metropolitan Museum, New York 2021; Tate Modern, London 2022). My contribution focused on an underground Dutch dada-surrealist periodical, and parts of my text were also used for the wall text accompanying the display of several issues of De Schone Zakdoek. ‘De Schone Zakdoek: Artists under Pressure and a Dutch Surrealist Periodical in Time of War’. In: Surrealism Beyond Borders, Stephanie d’Alessandro & Mathew Gale (eds.), 194-197, 352-353. The Metropolitan Museum/ Yale UP.
For the catalogue of the wonderful show De Tranen van Eros at the Centraal Museum (Utrecht), showing the work of Dutch surrealist Moesman in context with many other surrealists, I wrote the following essay: ‘Eros: Poëzie, Vrijheid en Liefde.’ In: Moesman. Surrealisme en de Seksen, M. Bosma & N. Folkersma (eds). Utrecht: Centraal Museum/Zwolle: W Books, 40-57, 129.
More about me? I have worked as a historian of art and culture for over 15 years. Although originally trained as a medievalist, Ispecialize in (the art and culture of) modernism and the avant-garde. I have taught at several universities in the Netherlands, including the Open Universiteit (Heerlen), VU (Amsterdam), Radboud Universiteit (Nijmegen) and Universiteit Utrecht, in the disciplines Art History, Art Studies, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, Museum Studies and Heritage Studies; I have also lectured for De Vrije Academie and The School of Life, among others. Currently I teach BA and MA courses in the department Kunst- & Cultuurwetenschappen at the University of Amsterdam, and I am closely involved in the development of a new dMA specialization in Provenance and Restitution Research (start: September 2023).
My main research field is modern art and culture. Current research projects focus on: global Surrealism, for instance in the Dutch Caribbean and Indonesia; the decolonization of museum collections, especially modern(ist) collections, with the use of avant-gardist anticolonial theory and art practice; and provenance of surrealist and related collections and works. The Routledge Companion to Surrealism, published November 2022, includes a chapter by me on surrealist modes in Indonesia. I was partially invovled in the path-breaking exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders (Metropolitan Museum, New York/Tate Modern, London, 2021). I furthermore study the interaction of modern art and occultism in the long twentieth century; several of my publications concern the artist Hilma af Klint and an edited volume on Surrealism and the Tarot is foreseen for 2024.
In 2015 the Dutch Research Council awarded me a 4-year ‘VENI’ Talent Programme research grant, for a project focussing on the reception of early modern European art in Surrealism (a study on the surrealist appropriation of Paolo Uccello was published recently in 21: Inquiries into Art). In 2016 I was Visiting Fellow at Coventry University. I have been a Committee Member for NWO's progamme Doctoral Grant for teachers since 2015, the last several years as Chair. Since 2020 I am a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí (Figueres), and since 2022 Secretary of the Board of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism.
For 2023 I have been invited to Edinburgh College of Art as Visiting Professor, awarded by the Leverhulme Trust.
Since 2020 I have been developing a large-scale reserach project into the canonisation and sacralisation of modern and contemporary art, including modes of (neo)surrealism, and the question how museums and institutions can decolonise their collections, displays and archives, entitled Cabinet of colonies: Decolonising collections.
My previous research project, Surrealism and Old Masters, was funded with a VENI from NWO.
Currently (spring 2022) my teaching is limited to individual tutoring, for instance of an Arts & Performance Research tutorial, and thesis and PhD supervision.
In partnership with the OSK - Dutch national research school voor art history - I hosted an informal bookclub on the topic of 'Global Art History'. We were active fromDecember 2020 to March 2022 and read and discussed a breakthough publication in the field every six to eight weeks.
In 2020-21 I taught a series of electives on Modern Art, Globally Oriented, including Salon to Jugendstil, Global Avant-Garde and Global Late Modernism a the University of Amsterdam. Among other things, the students and I created a digital exhibition.
I have been teaching at Dutch universities since 2006 (freelance, temporary and otherwise): at the University of Amsterdam, with the departments Art History, Arts of the Netherlands, and Religious Studies/History of Western Esotericism; the Radboud University, Nijmegen, with the departments Cultural Studies and Literary Studies; the VU (Free University), Amsterdam, department of Media, Art, Design and Architecture; at the department of History and Art History as well as the International School of Utrecht University for several semesters; and at the Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, with the Faculty of Cultural Studies.
My course portfolio includes BA, MA, and Research MA courses, in Dutch and in English. I have supervised (BA, BA Hons, MA, and RMA) theses; as well as tutorials in the honours programme and student traineeships.
I have developed, coordinated and taught (selection):
Other courses I have taught (selection):
Complete course portfolio available on request.