Conceptual Art I - The Concept in Conceptual Art: Origins & High Noon, 1960-1970
Dr. Michael Salcman, art historian, poet and neurosurgeon
Conceptual Art is often viewed as arcane and cryptic: where the “idea” presented by the artist is more important than the finished object. Dr. Salcman’s goal today is to detoxify Conceptual Art; to show that Conceptual Art can be touching, funny, clever, and even aesthetic. He will begin by considering whether there is any great art without an underlying idea.
The provenance of the movement began with Marcel Duchamp and his protégés, like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, but Conceptual Art’s true origins are found in Minimalism with artists like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt. Conceptualism’s “creative” high noon in the 1960s occurred with a group of artists surrounding Seth Siegelaub, Joseph Kosuth, Lawrence Weiner and others; British artists like the collaborative group Art & Language; and the Land Art of the 1970s created by artists Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer and Richard Long. Many of these artists were featured in Harald Szeemann's seminal show in Bern, When Attitudes Become Form (1969), discussed last year.
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