04.12.15 – 15.01.16

Stupid As a Painter

The popular assertion that painters are stupid whereas poets are intelligent has been in circulation since antiquity. The painter, it is claimed, merely imitates reality while the poet channels the wisdom of the gods. In other words, the painter is no more than a humble hack.** Fortunately, there exists a tradition of painting-theory that calls this saying into question. Painting, it would appear, demands a special way of seeing the world – a thinking eye. The Jan van Eyck Academie is a place where this gaze is cultivated. The potential importance to the artist of an intelligent gaze and a body of theory is revealed in Stupid As a Painter in which the focus lay on the academy’s history of painting.

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