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Two-Dimensional Design

Rene Jensen MA 2017–2018. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

The 2D subject-area includes painting and print-making. It is a wide area bordering on most visual arts. Here, questions are posed about representation, context, design, and interpretation. Critical focus is central, but the students also develop material- and technical knowledge.


The print-making subject-area covers several different techniques, where the Royal Institute of Art has long had a prominent educational role.

Today, we do not have access to the same premises as before, as the result of a fire which destroyed the workshops in 2016. That is why we have developed new, external collaborations with other educational institutions, so that we may continue to offer instruction in most print-making techniques. Today, there is a vibrant and well-adapted screen-printing workshop up and running.


Painting is not only about making art—since art also creates a context for discussion, and a place for experimentation. Because painting is an ongoing process, a work can both be considered as it is and as it contributes to shifting boundaries.

We instruct in art history, art criticism, and art theory. Students formulate questions about representation, context and the content of ideas that are an important part of both the artist’s design-work and in how others interpret the finished product. Teaching theory aims to increase awareness and reflection of one’s own work, and on the importance of art in society. We also train students to use various materials, methods and techniques—such as colour, light, texture and thickness—which allow our students to develop their artistic abilities.

The Material Institute

Materialinstitutet (‘The Material Institute’) conducts teaching and practical work in materials and methods of painting.

Here, students can prepare their canvases, produce their own artistic materials such as oil paints, watercolour paints, inks, wax-based crayons and paint-media. They can also make their own pigments with natural materials. The Material Institute has a small colour-plant nursery, which mainly consists of woad (Isatis tinctoria), which produces the blue colour indigo—but experiments are also underway with plants of other colours.

The Material Institute has a unique collection of older pigments and binders. The oldest samples are from the 1850s-90s, and come from the artist Nils Månsson Mandelgren’s paint box. Subsequently, the collection has been expanded with additional pigments, binders and chemicals. Overall, it holds about 1,500 samples. The collection is a historical artifact, and part of the history both of the subject-area and the Royal Institute of Art.

Area Manager: Nadia Hebson