Kitty Zijlmans studied art history at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, and was awarded her PhD in 1989 for a theoretical thesis about art history and systems theory. Her main interest is in the fields of contemporary art, art theory, and methodology. She is also especially interested in the position and contribution of women in art and culture, as well as in ongoing intercultural processes and globalization of the (art) world.
Inspiration: Contemporary art and theory is a fascinating, dynamic field of research. Major changes that mark the present era are especially the advancing societal embrace of (digital) technology and the diverse processes of globalization. Art reflects these developments, and consequently so does art history. In the last decades of the 20th century we also see increasingly the emergence of crossovers between the different forms of art (visual art, design, fashion, art in public spaces, architecture), between ‘high’ art and popular culture, and an increasing ‘multi-mediality’ (all conceivable materials and technologies). The discipline of art history reflects upon and conceptualizes these developments, and they challenge the art historian to develop new (interdisciplinary) approaches and frameworks. Special attention is given to the role of the viewer in the generation of meaning by art, as well as to concepts of mediality, gender and (multi-)ethnicity.