05 February

Wieteke van Zeil


The Art of Attentiveness

Most of what we see, we do not register consciously – the majority of visual information is lost on us. The presentation The Art of Attentiveness is a guide to better observing art and the world around us, with a special focus on the functions and symbolism of color in visual cultures around the world. Wieteke van Zeil shows how art can help us become more attentive, since artists often see what we fail to notice, they know how the eye navigates and present to us new perspectives. She discusses the most beautiful art details and connects them with our present lives, and she gives practical tips, based on neuroscientific insights, on how to observe art. Van Zeil shows that every carefully painted tiny detail encapsulates a wealth of knowledge, meaning and history, and can open up a new world to us.

Wieteke van Zeil studied Art History at the University of Amsterdam. She is a cultural journalist who pens a weekly series about details of art entitled Eye for detail (Oog voor Detail) for the Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant. In 2018 her book Seeing is Ignoring: the Art of Attentiveness (Goed kijken begint met negeren, de kunst van opmerkzaamheid) was published by Atlas Contact. Her previous works include Up Closer: Art in Details (Dichterbij, kunst in details). In 2015, the Eye for Detail-series was recognized with a European Newspaper Award.