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Slow Looking with Connoisseurs

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s new displays of its permanent collection, The Collection as Time Machine, was conceived by Carel Blotkamp, artist and emeritus professor of the history of art at the VU University in Amsterdam. He wants to seduce visitors to spend longer looking at works of art. Carel Blotkamp: ‘I don’t lonely want to extend people’s looking time but also to intensify their gaze. It has been calculated that, on average, museum visitors spend eight seconds looking at an artwork. I will have succeeded in my mission if I manage to increase that to ten or fifteen seconds.’

‘I want to promote slow looking.’ – Carel Blotkamp

To promote slow looking, curators Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp discuss artworks from various periods and movements. The result is a fascinating dialogue between two curators about intensive looking at art.

The first video elucidates ‘Grey, Orange on Maroon, No. 8’ (1960) by Mark Rothko. Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp talk about the religiosity of Rothko’s art.

In this video, Carel Blotkamp and Friso Lammertse analyse ‘The Annunciation’ (1470-1500) by the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines. They talk about how the painting transports the viewer back to the Middle Ages.

In this video, Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp talk about ‘Untitled’ by Donald Judd (1984) and the way it is displayed in the gallery. They talk about its size and the energy in Judd’s work.

Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp discuss Anthony van Dyck’s ‘Saint Jerome’ (1618-20). They talk about the directness of Van Dyck’s painting style and the exceptional talents of this wunderkind.

In the final video, Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp talk about the best Dalí in the museum’s collection, ‘Couple With Their Heads Full of Clouds’ (1936). They discuss the mistakes in the painting and Dalí’s genius.

Want to see more? Take the audio tour in which curators Friso Lammertse and Carel Blotkamp guide you through ‘The Collection as Time Machine’ and enrich your appreciation of the works in order to allow you to look more intensively.