Ilse van Rijn

Research & Biography



As more and more visual artists write and publish their writings, the indistinct and undefined status of these artist’s writings qua text is being revealed. In Ilse van Rijn’s research she investigates the meaning of the artist’s text, which she understands as ways of textual ‘functioning’, by concentrating on text internal propositions in contemporary publications. In a ‘poetics of the artist’s text’ she questions, among others, the subject of the artist’s text, the form of the text or the so-called lack thereof, the way in which critique on its own writing is being answered and the mode in which a story is told. She reads the text against the background of the literary-philosophical pattern given to the transitory experience of a writer: from a concrete involvement with the world to a universal human structure of this involvement. Her thesis is that within the artist’s text a search for its own autonomous functioning is inherent. While testing this suggestion, she proposes to scrutinize and possibly redefine the poetics as a model.


Ilse van Rijn is a researcher and art critic based in Amsterdam. She holds an MA in art history (UvA, Amsterdam (1995-2003)) and a BA in French Language and Literature (UvA, Amsterdam (1994-1997); Paris IV, Sorbonne, Paris (1997-1998)). Her current PhD research is collaboratively supported by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (GRA), the University of Amsterdam ((UvA) Amsterdam (2011-)) and the Jan van Eyck Academie, Post-Academic Institute for Research and Production for Fine Art, Design, and Theory (Maastricht (2012-)). For several years she has been working as an art critic and writer, delving into the so-called ‘marginal’ or ‘conflictual’ field between literature and visual art with visual artists, editors and curators alike. Her articles have been published, among others, in the Dutch art magazines Metropolis M and Open. Other publications she contributed to include: Lara Almarcegui, Een braakliggend terrein (2011), Maider Lopez, Polder Cup (2011), Martine Stig, Sisters (2009) and Ante (2010), Teenage Magazines (GRA/FOAM, 2011), Giny Vos, Singing in the Dark (2010). Additionally she has been working as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (2003-2006) and at the UvA (2006-2007). The last years she has been affiliated with the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2006-2010, 2011-).