just in time – proposal for municipal art acquisitions
1 Dec 2006 - 11 Mar 2007

‘Just in Time’ presents the proposals for the annual Municipal Art Acquisitions. This year the focus is on the visual arts. For the first time, the concept of the exhibition was placed in the hands of a guest curator: Maxine Kopsa.

Together with an international jury she selected sixteen artists and artist collectives, from over 350 submissions. The group exhibition gives a picture of the current state of affairs in the field of the visual arts in Amsterdam. ‘Just in Time’ reveals what is thought ‘necessary’ and how ‘necessary’ can be defined.

Guest curator Kopsa asked the artists who submitted proposals for ‘Just in Time’ to define what they regarded as ‘necessary’. Just in Time (JIT) is the name of an economic principle, based on producing the right component at the right place at the right moment, in order to prevent waste. Artists manage their time in the opposite manner. They deliberately choose indirection, and are open to mistakes and unexpected tangents. For artists, the time that cannot be directly put into the creation of the end product is still an essential part of the creative process. To ask artists to define what they understand as being ‘necessary’ is therefore to ask a question with more than one answer.  

‘Just in Time’ emphasises the importance ofAmsterdam as an international transit port for artists, a hub for creative talent. Many foreign artists, designers and curators work here on projects, do internships and study at internationally renowned art schools. These train innumerable artists and curators every year, coming from all over the world. For years after their studies, these graduates commonly continue to work with the contacts that they made here. This is also true for the majority of the artists selected for ‘Just in Time’. They have, as it were, a non-Dutch Dutch identity. The same is the case for the international jury members who selected the artists: with one exception, they have all lived and worked inAmsterdam, or still do so.

The group of artists in ‘Just in Time’ are accustomed to being open to outside influences, and to a greater or lesser degree pay their respects to them – whether in the way of historical references or current topics. In there work they take on clear positions. They ‘translate’ the outside influences into very personal, individualistic stories, in which nothing is glossed over or masked. On the contrary: mistakes and the unexpected are applauded and wherever possible amply displayed.

Seen in this way, works by the participating artists are a reference point for what is happening now – a sign of the times, if you will: ‘Just in Time’. Executed in diverse media and involving various kinds of cooperation, they are possible answers to the question of what is necessary at this particular moment, both for the collection of the StedelijkMuseum and for the cultural climate in Amsterdam.

Participating artists

LAT (Kasper Andreasen, Kees Maas, Tine Melzer), Adam Avikainen, Maria Barnas, Lonnie van Brummelen/Siebren de Haan, Mariana Castillo Deball, Cevdet Erek, Mark Manders, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Arnoud Holleman, Germaine Kruip, Falke Pisano, Maaike Schoorel, Lucy Stein, Jimmy Robert, Radio Rietveld, If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution (Edition 2: Feminist Legacies and Potentials In Contemporary Art Practice with The Otolith Group). 

Municipal Art Acquisitions

The annual Municipal Art Acquisitions exhibition gives an idea of the current state of affairs in the visual arts, photography, design and the applied arts inAmsterdam. Every year one of these disciplines, or sometimes a combination of disciplines, is chosen to be the focus in this series of exhibitions. Work is purchased from the exhibitions for the collection of the Stedelijk Museum.

Guest curator

In 2006 a new element has been added to the formula for the Municipal Art Acquisitions, namely the guest curator. The guest curator formulates a concept in advance and, together with a jury on which a curator from the Stedelijk Museum also has a seat, assembles the exhibition. This year the Museum invited Maxine Kopsa to be the guest curator. Kopsa is a freelance curator and editor of the art magazine Metropolis M. Together with Maria Barnas and Germaine Kruip she runs Missingbooks Publishers. In 2002, as guest curator she realised the exhibition 'Jim, Jonathan, Kenny, Frances and Sol' in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. 


Maxine Kopsa (who is also guest curator), Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen (curator Stedelijk Museum), Mai Abu ElDahab (freelance curator, Cairo), Chris Evans (artist, London/Berlin), Will Holder (graphic designer,London) and Emily Pethick (director Casco, Utrecht).


A catalogue, ‘Just in Time’, with contributions by Raimundas Malašauskas, Francesco Bernardelli, Mai Abu ElDahab and Frances Stark, is appearing to accompany the exhibition. Edited by Maxine Kopsa, design and editing, Will Holder. It can be purchased in the Museum Shop for only € 10,-.  


An article about ‘Just in Time’ written by Maxine Kopsa can be found in the Stedelijk Museum Bulletin nr. 4/5, 2006/07.

City of Amsterdam 

The exhibition is made possible thanks to the financial support from the City of Amsterdam.