Conceptualism in Art Unit


Conceptualismin Art


Conceptual art is a new approach in art that challenges traditionalconcerns of aesthetics and material. Instead, it pursues mystery asopposed to logic. The approach is driven by a free mind that does notfollow the traditional thought processes of rationality that recyclesold ideas as is the case with formal art. This means that inconceptual art, the artist is guided by his own ideas rather than theneed to adhere to the theoretical considerations in art. As such, theartwork itself will reflect the ideas of the artist and failure toacknowledge and repress some of these ideas will amount to repetitionand working in the confines of formal art. To produce a conceptualpiece or art, the piece must drive its own course through the ideasthat come along in the completion of the project rather than theartists desire to complete the artwork.

Conceptual art frees artists from the traditional understanding ofart. For this reason art pieces that are already defined such assculpture or painting already limit the flow of ideas as they have tobe within the confines of the definition or parameters of their form.Although all forms of art are guided by ideas, how conceptual artistsexpress and fulfill these ideas vary a lot because they do notconform to any rules such as rationality. Ideally, it is onlyrational to follow irrational thoughts under conceptualism. The ideascan be expressed in any form without any logical order but one at atime. However, some ideas are not expressed physically. Actually,some ideas may never reach the audience or even leave the artist’smind. Thus conceptual art is not necessarily intended to showcase theartist’s mind to the audience.

On the other hand, conceptual art can communicate ideas in adifferent way. This is through conceptual artists sharing ideas on asimilar concept. Shared ideas whether in words or numbers can betransformed into art in different ways. This means that ideas aresimply art if they pertain to art. Nonetheless, modern ideas of artshould not be applied to art from the past. In cases where they areapplied, there is likely to be a misunderstanding because they do notshare any concept.

Past conventions of art can be changed by art itself. How ideas areperceived leads to new ideas. The perception of ideas of past workhowever, may not necessarily inspire new ideas but instead repetitionexcept when viewed with a conceptual mind. Nonetheless, theduplication of ideas or inspiration of new ideas cannot be uniformamong different artists because perception is subjective. Artistswill perceive the work of others differently. The differentperceptions, understanding or even misunderstanding is likely totrigger off many other different ideas. These ideas give a hint offinal form to which new developing ideas are added unto it blindly.Some ideas are planned while others are emergent. Some can evenemanate from mistakes.

Consequently, an artist may fail to understand his work. He may evenview the work of others as better than his own. However, hisperception is nether right or wrong and even better or worse thanthat of others. However, the art-making process through compilationof ideas should be unhindered in the same way as the perception ofit. As a result, where several artists follow the same form, theminor changes such as the material of art should be viewed as theart’s concept. The execution of the ideas alone or the skill in thecraft is not important but instead the idea itself.

For instance, an ordinary idea cannot be rescued by beautifulexecution. Thus, conceptual art is solely judged on the concept andthe ideas contained therewith in. In the same manner, perfect writingin an academic essay in terms of grammar and structure alone does notguarantee a high mark is the content and ideas expressed are poor orweak. Thus conceptual art is mainly concerned with the concept andnot the skill of the artist in executing ideas. This alone denouncesthis essay as a conceptual piece of work as it adheres to setconventions in academic writing.


Lewitt, S. (1969).Sentences on Conceptual Art. Retrieved online from