Conceptual Art, or “Conceptualism” is an art form in which the concept or idea behind the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and materials. As Sol Lewitt, one of the founders of the style put it,
“In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory (with minimum effort) affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art”.
So basically, it’s not what you see that is the art, it’s why they are showing it to you and the way that its made. John Baldessari, one of the most successful conceptual artists of today, is most famous for putting bright colored price stickers on top of peoples faces in black and white photographs. Why would he do that? To make you pay more attention to what they’re doing, to their body language and the setting rather than simply the look on their faces. He’s playing with you, mind f*cking you, as he does in all his work. Conceptual Art in an experience, it’s about creating meaning not finding it. The artist has the power to play with the viewers mind and senses with crazy colors and materials that seem nonsensical yet have hidden meanings that satisfy the mind of the art enthusiast. It’s a roller coaster for the senses, so enjoy the ride!
Conceptual Art Just For YOU
Wall Drawing 1152 -Whirls and Twirls, Sol Lewitt, 2005
Three Men in Suits, John Baldessari, 1987
Four Colors Four Words, Joseph Kosuth, 1966
Device to Root out Evil, Dennis Oppenheim, 1997
Protect Me From What I Want, Jenny Holzer, 2000
Excentrique(s), Daniel Buren, 2012
Two Adjacent Pavilions, Dan Graham, 1981
What are your thoughts on Conceptual Art? Are you a fan or do you hate it?