A few decades ago, artists started experimenting, giving space to countless artistic ventures and styles. Inspiration is drawn from both the modern way of life and the theories developed about art’s role, essence, and evolutionary course. Contemporary Art is a mystery to many as the works exhibited, from time to time, make viewers wonder about what can qualify as Art. The questioning of everyone and everything that strongly dominates nowadays has led artists to refuse the use of conventional colors and materials, resulting in their work creating contradictory reactions, sometimes confusing or admired, and sometimes angering the public whether addressed to it or not.
At the end of the 60s, conceptual Art was developed in a theoretical and artistic context, where, as its name accurately implies, the concept is the basic component of a work of art; continuity is treated as unnecessary. This is a trend in which the conception of the idea of a work of art takes precedence over the art object itself. Artists who embraced Conceptual Art, although influenced by the minimalist trend, then challenged it and tried to escape from it. Through Conceptual Art, the traditional way of rendering Art, both as expression and form, is essentially challenged, while language dominates, as an object, in its verbal part. Its appearance is typically seen in America with the manifesto Paragraphs on Conceptual Art published in 1967 by Sol LeWitt.
For Sol LeWitt, “the idea becomes an art-creating machine.” The dynamics of Conceptual Art, as can be seen through the statements of Sol LeWitt and its other representatives, were very pronounced. So, the mental process of capturing and designing a work of Art replaces its tangible visual part. However, this visual part, that is, the work of Art, does not disappear. It continues to exist. Conceptual Art does not aim to remove the creation of the work of Art, which is the expression of Art, and replace it with linguistics but tries to discover the limits of Art. Conceptual Art is seen in the works of its various representatives, such as Joseph Kosuth, who argued that Art should be self-questioned and should not appear, if possible, in physical form.
Art creates huge lists containing phrases, ideas, or descriptions. The pairing between objects and written information, which initially seems to show no connection, is expected to be carried out by the viewers themselves in an effort to interact with the artist-project audience. Ben Vautier engraves quotations on a black background using white paint. His works, which constitute thoughts, impressions, and proclamations, may be shrouded in a veil of mystery, yet they are open to interpretation. Meanwhile, Lawrence Weiner started writing his ideas, in 1970, on some exhibition walls and associated them with definitions of space and simple actions in order to puzzle the viewer with the possibility of realizing what he writes without however pushing people to realize them.
The search and influences of Conceptual Art did not stop finding a response in artists who continue the effort to escape in technique and style from the established ones in order to bring the content of their respective subject to the forefront. By joining this artistic approach, many creators were able to deal with social issues and promote them by looking forward to changing the world that surrounds us.
In Conceptual Art, the creator can even renounce their work. When Lewis passed away, his sketches were turned into various works of Art by other artists. As a result, his work was not interrupted after his death but continued. Therefore, in Conceptual Art, the question of copyright does not arise. The implementation of a piece of work is expected to be carried out by others; for this reason, the signature of its author is not mandatory.
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