Conceptual art is a term that refers to a series of artistic practices developed between the decades of 1960 and 1970 in different countries. It can also be used in a more general way to refer to a certain type of works of art, although they do not belong to this historical period.

Characteristics edit

The main characteristic of conceptual art is self-reference. This means that the theme of a conceptual work of art is art itself. Joseph Kosuth, a well-known artist within this tendency, claimed that a work of art is a proposition about art. He stated: “a work of art is a kind of proposition presented within the context of art as a comment on art”[1]. Conceptual artists reacted to formalist tendencies in painting and sculpture, such as abstract expressionism, putting aside visual, morphological and material features and focusing on ideas. They regarded the materiality of a work just as a medium for the idea. For that reason, conceptual art is considered to be the conclusion of the historical process of dematerialization of the work of art.

Artists edit

Although many authors believe that conceptual art emerged in USA and Great Britain and then spread to other areas, others argue that it developed simultaneously in different regions, including those regarded as “peripheral” such as Latin America[2]. However, many Latin American artists rejected the “conceptual” label arguing that their art was political and did not share the features of the production of the artistic centres. The main American conceptual artists are Joseph Kosuth, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler and Lawrence Weiner. Other examples are the members of the British group Art & Language, Terry Atkinson, Michael Baldwin, David Bainbridge, Harold Hurrell, Ian Burn and Mel Ramsden. In Argentina, some of the artists who participated in the Cayc (Centre of art and communication) such as Horacio Zabala, Juan Carlos Romero, Luis Pazos, Víctor Grippo and Carlos Ginzburg are considered to be conceptual.

Bibliography edit

References edit

  1. Kosuth, Joseph (October, 1969). “Art after Philosophy”. Studio International, Number 915 (Volume 178), 134 - 137. Retrieved from:
  2. Longoni, Ana (2007). “Otros inicios del conceptualismo (argentino y latinoamericano)”. Retrieved from: