(de)Fine Art

Art theory, research and experimentation all play a prominent role within your study programme.

Studying (de)Fine Art at the WdKA means learning to define and redefine what your art can be in relation to society. Through material experimentation, art theories, research and peer-to-peer collaboration you develop ways of making and of positioning yourself in art fields of your choice.

Within the WdKA School of Art there are 2 departments: the BA Photography and BA “Autonome Beeldende Kunst” as it is officially called in Dutch, literally: “Autonomous Visual Art”. We call our Fine Art department ‘Define Art’. This to indicate that we give students the guidance and space to (re)define what their personal contemporary artistic practice could be. Our department name therefore is a verb, a (learning) process.

Studying (de)Fine Art is a call to action: Please define (and redefine) what your art is!

We question in what contexts art can be made, how and where new sources can be found, and where exchanges with others can be organised. We work to develop your own research questions in this, through becoming more and more aware of your own learning aims. During your studies you will study in several education projects where skills and content are combined.In our department, as in our academy, we work to create a learning environment that is inclusive and equal. We aim for a warm and informal contact between tutors and students and we welcome you to communicate any of your concerns with tutors and with your coach.Self-organisation, communication, experiment and curiosity are key.Please note: Our department is a non-medium specific learning environment with no individual or group studios.


After graduating you will be qualified for working in social, commercial and/or autonomous contemporary art platforms; as a maker and/or mediator in the arts. As a curator or a cultural organiser; as a social researcher using artistic means and methods; or you continue as a master-level student in e.g. fine art, media, cultural management or artistic research.

Cover project: Identitat Tapá by Nash Caldera



Open Days & Recruitment activities

Want to know more about life at the Willem de Kooning Academy?

Check out our extended programme, full of (online) activities and interaction with student ambassadors and tutors via this link.


Knowledge & skills

  • Concept development
  • Applied artistic research
  • Knowledge of art history and theory
  • (Critical) writing
  • Social researcher using artistic means and methods
  • Wide range of technical skills
  • Communication, presentation and entrepreneurial skills
  • Working in team and independently
  • Experimenting with different skills
  • Collaborating with fellow artists and designers
  • ...and more

Well, why is this art? Why isn't that art?

John Baldessari

Career opportunities

  • Artist/performer/writer/researcher
  • Curator
  • Mediator in the arts
  • Social researcher using artistic means and methods
  • Cultural organiser
  • ...and more

Next to 13 majors and three Practices WdKA offers its students high-tech meeting interdisciplinary spaces - Stations.

Stations are the place for creating prototypes, experimenting, remixing and improving your ideas. All of the Willem de Kooning Academy’s students and staff members are welcome to work in our Stations, regardless of their major specialisation, minor, elective module or study year. The Stations are where you can explore the viability of your ideas and find out how to turn them into fully-functioning creations.

Dual Degree programme

Do you have an artistic or a musical talent, as well as a hunger for academic knowledge? You can now mix arts and academia in metropolitan Rotterdam. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) and Codarts offer you the possibility to combine theory and practice in a five-year Dual Degree programme.

Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

Apply now

Experience 4 years at WdKA


Graduation Series: Chris Nelck

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Meet the tutor

Meet the Tutor: Karin Arink

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Student Work: Jessica Kuhn

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