Conceptual art, sometimes simply called Conceptualism, is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many works of conceptual art, sometimes called installations, may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions. This method was fundamental to American artist Sol LeWitt's definition of Conceptual art, one of the first to appear in print:

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 affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.
Tony Godfrey, author of Conceptual Art (Art & Ideas) (1998), asserts that conceptual art questions the nature of art, a notion that Joseph Kosuth

elevated to a definition of art itself in his seminal, early manifesto of conceptual art, "Art after Philosophy" (1969). The notion that art should examine its own nature was already a potent aspect of the influential art critic Clement Greenberg's vision of Modern art during the 1950s. With the emergence of an exclusively language-based art in the 1960s, however, conceptual artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Lawrence Weiner and the English Art & Language group began a far more radical interrogation of art than was previously possible (see below). One of the first and most important things they questioned was the common assumption that the role of the artist was to create special kinds of material objects.
Through its association with the Young British Artists and the Turner Prize during the 1990s, in popular usage, particularly in the UK, "conceptual art" came to denote all contemporary art that does not practice the traditional skills of painting and sculpture. It could be said that one of the reasons why the term "conceptual art" has come to be associated with various contemporary practices far removed from its original aims and forms lies in the problem of defining the term itself. As the artist Mel Bochner suggested as early as 1970, in explaining why he does not like the epithet "conceptual", it is not always entirely clear what "concept" refers to, and it runs the risk of being confused with "intention." Thus, in describing or defining a work of art as conceptual it is important not to confuse what is referred to as "conceptual" with an artist's "intention."

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  • 1. [Installation art] Installation art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called land art; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap.
  • 2. [Fluxus] Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning "flow, flux" (noun); "flowing, fluid" (adj.)—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is sometimes described as intermedia.
  • 3. [Performance art] In art, performance art is a performance presented to an audience, traditionally interdisciplinary. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated; spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or via media; the performer can be present or absent. It can be any situation that
  • 4. [Video art] Video art is a type of art which relies on moving pictures and comprises video and/or audio data. (It should not however be confused with television production or experimental film.) Video art came into existence during the early 1960s and early 1970s as the new technology became available outside corporate broadcasting and is still practiced
  • 5. [Land art] Land art, earthworks (coined by Robert Smithson), or Earth art is an art movement in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked. It is also an art form that is created in nature, using natural materials such as soil, rock (bed rock, boulders, stones), organic media (logs, branches, leaves), and water with
  • 6. [Sol LeWitt] Solomon "Sol" LeWitt (September 9, 1928 – April 8, 2007) was an American artist linked to various movements, including Conceptual art and Minimalism.
  • 7. [Marcel Duchamp] Marcel Duchamp (French: [maʁsɛl dyʃɑ̃]; 28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French-American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer whose work is associated with Dadaism and conceptual art, although not directly associated with Dada groups. Duchamp is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the three artists who
  • 8. [Happening] A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. Happenings occur anywhere and are often multi-disciplinary, with a nonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience. Key elements of happenings are planned but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation. This new media art aspect to happenings eliminates the boundary between the artwork and its viewer.
  • 9. [Joseph Beuys] Joseph Beuys (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈbɔʏs]; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue of art.
  • 10. [Joseph Kosuth] Joseph Kosuth (born January 31, 1945), is an American conceptual artist. He lives in New York and London, after residing in various cities in Europe, including Ghent, Rome and Berlin.
  • 11. [Postmodern art] Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as Intermedia, Installation art, Conceptual Art and Multimedia, particularly involving video are described as postmodern.
  • 12. [Stuckism] Stuckism is an international art movement founded in 1999 by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson to promote figurative painting in opposition to conceptual art. By July 2012 the initial group of 13 British artists had expanded to 233 groups in 52 countries.
  • 13. [Robert Smithson] Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist famous for his use of photography in relation to sculpture and land art.
  • 14. [Turner Prize] The Turner Prize, named after the painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50. Awarding the prize is organised by the Tate gallery and staged at Tate Britain. Since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the United Kingdom's most publicised art award. The award represents all media.
  • 15. [Lawrence Weiner] Lawrence Weiner (born February 10, 1942) is one of the central figures in the formation of conceptual art in the 1960s His work often takes the form of typographic texts.
  • 16. [Systems art] Systems art is art influenced by cybernetics, and systems theory, that reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself.
  • 17. [Artforum] Artforum is an international monthly magazine specializing in contemporary art.
  • 18. [Art & Language] Art & Language is a shifting collaboration among conceptual artists that has undergone many changes since its inception in the late 1960s. Their early work, as well as their journal Art-Language, first published in 1969, is regarded as an important influence on much conceptual art both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
  • 19. [Intermedia] Intermedia was a concept employed in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe the often confusing, inter-disciplinary activities that occur between genres that became prevalent in the 1960s. Thus, the areas such as those between drawing and poetry, or between painting and theatre could be described as intermedia. With repeated occurrences, these new genres between genres could develop their own names (e.g. visual poetry or performance art).
  • 20. [Dick Higgins] Dick Higgins (March 15, 1938 – October 25, 1998) was a composer, poet, printer, and early Fluxus artist. Higgins was born in Cambridge, England, but raised in the United States in various parts of New England, including Worcester, Massachusetts, Putney, Vermont, and Concord, New Hampshire.
  • 21. [Contemporary art] Contemporary art is art produced at the present period in time. Contemporary art includes, and develops from, Postmodern art, which is itself a successor to Modern art. In vernacular English, "modern" and "contemporary" are synonyms, resulting in some conflation of the terms "modern art" and "contemporary art" by non-specialists.
  • 22. [Vito Acconci] Vito Hannibal Acconci (born January 24, 1940) is an American designer, landscape architect, performance and installation artist.
  • 23. [Robert Rauschenberg] Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) was an American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. Rauschenberg is well known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the
  • 24. [George Maciunas] George Maciunas (English pronunciation: /məˈtʃuːnəs/; Lithuanian: Jurgis Mačiūnas; November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Ay-O, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Dick
  • 25. [Nam June Paik] Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the founder of video art. He was married to the video artist Shigeko Kubota in 1965. Paik is credited with an early usage (1974) of the term "electronic super highway" in application to telecommunications.
  • 26. [Neo-conceptual art] Neo-conceptual art describes art practices in the 1980s and particularly 1990s to date that derive from the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. These subsequent initiatives have included the Moscow Conceptualists, United States neo-conceptualists such as Sherrie Levine and the Young British Artists, notably Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin in the United Kingdom, where there is also a Stuckism counter-movement and criticism from the 1970s conceptual art group Art and Language.
  • 27. [Wolf Vostell] Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor and is considered one of the early adopters of Video art and Environment/Installation and pioneer of Happening and Fluxus. Techniques such as blurring and Dé-collage are characteristic of his work, as is embedding objects in concrete and the use of television sets in his works.
  • 28. [Figurative art] Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork—particularly paintings and sculptures—that is clearly derived from real object sources, and are therefore by definition representational. "Figurative art" is often defined in contrast to abstract art:
  • 29. [Found object] Found object originates from the French objet trouvé, describing art created from undisguised, but often modified, objects or products that are not normally considered art, often because they already have a non-art function. Pablo Picasso first publicly utilized the idea when he pasted a printed image of chair caning onto his painting titled Still Life
  • 30. [Post-conceptual] Post-conceptual (Postconceptual, Post-conceptualism or Postconceptualism) is an art theory that builds upon the legacy of conceptual art in contemporary art, where the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work takes some precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. The term first came into art school parlance through the influence of John Baldessari at the California
  • 31. [Fountain (Duchamp)] Fountain is a 1917 work widely attributed to Marcel Duchamp. The scandalous work was a porcelain urinal, which was signed "R.Mutt" and titled Fountain. Submitted for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Fountain was rejected by the committee, even though the rules stated that all works would be accepted from artists
  • 32. [Modern art] Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation. Modern artists
  • 33. [Digital art] Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process including computer art and multimedia art, and digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.
  • 34. [Clement Greenberg] Clement Greenberg, occasionally writing under the pseudonym K. Hardesh, (January 16, 1909 – May 7, 1994) was an American essayist known mainly as an influential visual art critic closely associated with American Modern art of the mid-20th century. In particular, he is best remembered for his promotion of the abstract expressionist movement and was among the first published critics to praise the work of painter Jackson Pollock.
  • 35. [Robert Morris (artist)] Robert Morris (born February 9, 1931, Kansas City, Missouri) is an American sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. He is regarded as one of the most prominent theorists of Minimalism along with Donald Judd but he has also made important contributions to the development of performance art, minimalism, land art, the Process Art movement and installation art. Morris currently lives and works in New York.
  • 36. [George Brecht] George Brecht (August 27, 1926 – December 5, 2008), born George Ellis MacDiarmid, was an American conceptual artist and avant-garde composer as well as a professional chemist who worked as a consultant for companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mobil Oil. He was a key member of, and influence on, Fluxus, the international group
  • 37. [Edward A. Shanken] Edward A. Shanken (born 1964) is an American art historian, whose work focuses on the entwinement of art, science and technology, with a focus on experimental new media art and visual culture. His scholarship has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been translated into six languages.
  • 38. [Internet art] Internet art (often referred to as net art) is a form of digital artwork distributed via the Internet. This form of art has circumvented the traditional dominance of the gallery and museum system, delivering aesthetic experiences via the Internet. In many cases, the viewer is drawn into some kind of interaction with the work of art. Artists working in this manner are sometimes referred to as net artists.
  • 39. [Young British Artists] The Young British Artists, or YBAs — also referred to as Brit artists and Britart — is the name given to a loose group of visual artists who first began to exhibit together in London, in 1988. Many of the artists graduated from the BA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths, in the late 1980s.
  • 40. [Electronic art] Electronic art is a form of art that makes use of electronic media or, more broadly, refers to technology and/or electronic media. It is related to information art, new media art, video art, digital art, interactive art, internet art, and electronic music. It is considered an outgrowth of conceptual art and systems art.
  • 41. [Dan Graham] Daniel "Dan" Graham (born March 31, 1942) is an American artist, writer, and curator.
    Graham grew up in New Jersey. In 1964 he began directing the John Daniels Gallery in New York, where he put on Sol LeWitt's first one-man show, and in groups shows, exhibited works of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson. Like
  • 42. [Robert Barry (artist)] Robert Barry (born March 9, 1936 in the Bronx, New York) is an American artist. Since 1967, Barry has produced non-material works of art, installations, and performance art using a variety of otherwise invisible media. In 1968, Robert Barry is quoted as saying "Nothing seems to me the most potent thing in the world."
  • 43. [Bruce Nauman] Bruce Nauman (born December 6, 1941) is a contemporary American artist. His practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. Nauman lives near Galisteo, New Mexico.
  • 44. [Damien Hirst] Damien Steven Hirst (born 7 June 1965) is an English entrepreneur, artist and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living
  • 45. [Yves Klein] Yves Klein (French: [iv klɛ̃]; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art. He is the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was a pioneer in the development of Performance art, and is seen as an inspiration to and as a forerunner of Minimal art, as well as Pop art.
  • 46. [John Baldessari] John Anthony Baldessari (born June 17, 1931) is an American conceptual artist known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. He lives and works in Santa Monica and Venice, California.
  • 47. [Generative art] Generative art refers to art that in whole or in part has been created with the use of an autonomous system. An autonomous system in this context is generally one that is non-human and can independently determine features of an artwork that would otherwise require decisions made directly by the artist. In some cases the
  • 48. [Stuckist demonstrations] Stuckist demonstrations since 2000 have been a key part of the Stuckist art group's activities and have succeeded in giving them a high profile both in Britain and abroad. Their primary agenda is the promotion of painting and opposition to conceptual art.
  • 49. [Christo and Jeanne-Claude] Christo (born Hristo Vladimirov Yavachev, Bulgarian: Христо Явашев, June 13, 1935) and Jeanne-Claude (born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, June 13, 1935 – November 18, 2009) were a married couple who created environmental works of art. Christo Yavachev is Bulgarian born and Jeanne-Claude was born in Morocco. Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in
  • 50. [Douglas Huebler] Douglas Huebler (October 27, 1924 – July 12, 1997) was an American conceptual artist.
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