The "Orientierungsbereich" (foundation year) is the kickstart of your art studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

The "O-Bereich" encompasses the first year of study. Full of hopes, inspirations, ideas, and drive, it all starts anew every October. When all new students of a cohort begin together, there is an almost palpable buzz in the air. The rooms awaiting you are initially empty and freshly painted white. We are in the 'Rheinflügel', the annex building of the Kunstakademie. There, on the ground floor, you have your own studio space for the first year. Here, you can work freely. You see what the others are doing, you see what you yourself can do - and you get started. It is an intense time, with much to experience, try out, and discover.

The "O-Bereich" is one of the first steps to becoming an artist (or art educator) - together with other students who have the same intention. These are your fellow students, most of whom are new to Düsseldorf. Often, friendships are formed here that will accompany you far beyond the basic year through the Kunstakademie and the art world. These are companions with whom you can do a lot and from whom you can learn a lot. You are guided by teachers who have long been practicing their art with devotion and success. Two professors and five adjunct instructors support you, showing you ways and possibilities. During the two semesters, one of the instructors is present every day to speak, observe, and demonstrate.

Focus on practical work

The "O-Bereich" is a brief foundational study in which a lot happens. Our focus is on studio practice. So much happens that you sometimes feel like you're overtaking yourself for a moment. Suddenly, representations become possible, materials become exciting, and ideas become feasible that were previously inconceivable. The focus is very practically on what you develop artistically and how you unfold artistically. An introduction to art history is added in the first semester.

In the "O-Bereich", we teach the basics - but properly. Basics first! In individual discussions, we approach your work from various perspectives. You will hear different opinions and be able to turn to different instructors. In joint colloquiums, we discuss your work in depth and intensively. For some, it might be unfamiliar at first to discuss the yellow next to the red passionately for ten minutes. But detailed observation is the most important foundation. Corresponding vocabulary can be learned. Just as techniques and methods. We impart these in workshops so that you can get to know the materials and tools. We offer our life drawing on a weekly basis. This is complemented by excursions and museum visits - internationally renowned museums are just a short walk away.

Orientation in Art and Academy

The name "Orientierungsbereich" is programmatic: Within art and the Kunstakademie, it is a matter of "orienting" yourself and extending your feelers. The first year is dedicated to the task of giving your own directions in art. The course is often reset here because you discover so much new for yourself. Someone who originally applied with large-scale gestural painting might become enthusiastic about three-dimensional construction with wooden slats and plaster. Someone who previously only photographed might now rather consider installing in space. These are decisions that often influence an entire artistic life. How you have developed is presented at the end of the year in an examination. After our joint trip to the Eifel, we clear the O-Bereich for the final exhibition. You show an examination committee a range of your work so far in the O-Bereich.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will continue in the main study in one of the professor-led classes. The basic year gives you enough time to look around thoroughly at the Kunstakademie. There are over twenty classes, the profiles of which are fundamentally different. They are entirely oriented towards the respective professors. These themselves are artists who have developed their own visual view in an impressive way and whose names you might know from exhibitions. The fact that you will work personally with them is a great opportunity and a great promise! This artistic claim is lived, this diversity and dynamism makes the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf artistically strong and attractive. Further information: o-bereich.de (external link)

"For over twenty years I have been teaching in the O-Bereich. It brings me new joy time and again because you bring great passion, openness, communication, and transparency. From my experience, this is the foundation for independent thinking, to artistically shape one's own ideas. As a shared experience in the O-Bereich, this is unique." - Prof. Udo Dziersk

"The O-Bereich is remarkably formative. It is only one year, but a lot is decided during this time. I was also here in the O-Bereich - where I am now teaching, I also started myself. I came as a painter and left as a sculptor. And it was also a joy. I would like to pass that on." - Prof. Gereon Krebber