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Piet Zwart Institute

Hogeschool Rotterdam Willem de Kooning Academie

Master Fine Art

The two-year Master of Fine Art (MFA) programme at the Piet Zwart Institute is an HBO Masters offered by the Willem de Kooning Academy, which is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences).  The MFA programme foregrounds the reciprocal articulation of research, practice, and professionalization. It considers critical reflection, debate, and action as integral to self-directed artistic research and practice, and fosters professional development for emerging artists through exposure to key actors and influences in the field of contemporary art, professional guidance and workshops, and exhibition and public programming opportunities for presenting ideas and work to wider audiences.

The MFA programme seeks to educate artists toward the fulfilment of their own creative and professional autonomy, and encourages its students to see themselves as agents who have the potential to shape the field of international contemporary art. In keeping with the dynamic and hybrid nature of contemporary art production and distribution today, students in the MFA programme work individually, collaboratively and collectively, with and across a range of traditional, analogue, and digital mediums and experimental formats. Just as the contemporary art world promotes interdisciplinary cross-pollination, students enrolled in the MFA programme do not always define themselves solely as visual artists, but also as artist-writers or artist-curators, artist-performers, artist-designers, or simply as cultural producers. Such variety leads to an especially rich and productive research culture that allows students to pursue their practice to a professional level.

The students accepted into the MFA programme are offered ample studio space and a dynamic milieu comprised of peers and leading practitioners from various fields. The MFA programme cultivates a stimulating and engaging environment in which students, tutors and guests can engage their respective interests together in meaningful ways. The curriculum offers considerable time and space for self-directed research and practice, which is enhanced by individual tutorials, group critiques, interdisciplinary thematic seminars and projects, a reading, research and writing methodologies seminar, as well as self-organised and extra-curricular activities.

Our tutorial team is comprised of international artists, writers, curators, and theorists from the Netherlands and abroad. Vibrant public programmes and publications contribute to the visibility of our achievements. In addition, the MFA programme strives reach out and build relationships outside the academy via institutional partnerships and through individual initiative. An art school is a place where various currents of thought meet, intertwine and disperse, where stable meanings are disrupted and firm beliefs are unfixed, and where encounters create a new, ever shifting, shared space of dialogue. Thus, the MFA programme evolves every year – it is the combination of students, tutors and guests, as well as occurrences, events and critical debates in the art world and in the wider culture, that help define who we are and what we do within the field of contemporary art.

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