book launch

frank reijnders - meesterwerken meesterzetten
27 Oct 2013

Cover "Meesterwerken meesterzetten", with courtesy of the publisher
Cover "Meesterwerken meesterzetten", with courtesy of the publisher

Location: Teijin auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Time: October 27, 2013, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Language: Dutch 
Entrance: Entrance price to the Stedelijk Museum 
Reservations: It is necessary to make a reservation. Send an e-mail to, stating your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, and the date of the program you want to attend.

The Public Program of the Stedelijk Museum, in collaboration with Uitgeverij Duizend & Een, presents the launch of Meesterwerken Meesterzetten by Frank Reijnders. One of the central ideas of this book concerns the question of what constitutes a masterwork. Art historian Merel van Tilburg will introduce the afternoon with a review of Meesterwerken Meesterzetten, followed by a discussion between Frank Reijnders, art critic Janneke Wesseling, and artist Klaas Kloosterboer. There will also be an opportunity to buy the book and have it signed. 

About Meesterwerken Meesterzetten 

What is a masterwork? It is impossible to answer this question in a general sense, but it can be approached from countless angles on the basis of specific works of art. The same applies with regard to masterstrokes, for in the 20th century the focus shifted to a game of strokes and counterstrokes. Masterstrokes such as Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 4’33” by John Cage, and Metro-Net. Subway Around the World by Martin Kippenberger are dealt with in detail in Reijnders’ book. But how contemporary is the masterwork or masterstroke really? Is this not an old-fashioned category which is reminiscent above all of “old” art? Furthermore, didn’t the avant-garde movements in the 20th century definitively banish the idea of masterworks altogether? 

The starting point of Meesterwerken Meesterzetten is not so much the idea or concept of a “masterwork,” but specific artworks which were subjected to the question: “What is going on in the artwork which does or does not make it a masterwork or masterstroke?” The selected works are taken from the field of the visual arts and music, and from different times and cultures. This diversity also determines the scope of the book. Some of the themes that are dealt with include the cult of the masterwork, the confrontation with the masterwork, the shift from the masterwork to the masterstroke, the ambition of the masterwork, and the nostalgia of the masterwork.

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More information about the speakers 

Klaas Kloosterboer started training as an art teacher in 1977, but transferred to the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam two years later. He completed his training in 1983 and from that time on, he only makes non-figurative work. Since then, he has exhibited internationally and his work has been included in many museum collections. Kloosterboer lives and works in Amsterdam.

Until 2010, Frank Reijnders was employed at the University of Amsterdam as an art historian. He gained his doctorate in 1984 with the publication of the celebrated Kunst-geschiedenis; verschijnen en verdwijnen (Art history; appearing and disappearing). Uitgeverij Duizend & Een have also published: Metamorfose van de barok (1991) and Della Pittura, de schilderkunst en andere media (2000). Reijnders has written articles for many publications, including De Witte Raaf, De Gids, and Jong Holland. He has also published works on contemporary artists, including Jan Fabre, Michel Majerus, Klaas Kloosterboer, and David Reed.

Merel van Tilburg is an art historian who lives and works in Paris. She regularly contributes to journals such as De Witte Raaf, Tate Etc. Magazine, Sehepunkte, and artists’ books and catalogues.  The main focus of her academic research is painting and theater circa 1900 and the relationship between painting and textile art in modernism. 

Janneke Wesseling is professor and head of the department art theory and artistic practice at the Hogeschool van Beeldende Kunsten Muziek en Dans. In addition, she is co-director of PhDArts at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University. Since 1983, she has been art critic for NRC Handelsblad. She regularly writes about contemporary art in magazines and catalogues, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Her published books include: See it Again, Say it Again. The Artist as Researcher (2011. ed. Janneke Wesseling. Amsterdam: Valiz), Het museum dat niet bestond (2004. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij), and Schoonhoven, beeldend kunstenaar (1990. The Hague/Amsterdam: SDU publishers/Openbaar Kunstbezit).