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Conceptual art

Introduction

Source: Oxford University Press

Term applied to work produced from the mid-1960s that either markedly de-emphasized or entirely eliminated a perceptual encounter with unique objects in favour of an engagement with ideas. Although Henry Flynt of the Fluxus group had designated his performance pieces ‘concept art’ as early as 1961, and Edward Kienholz had begun to devise ‘concept tableaux’ in 1963, the term first achieved public prominence in defining a distinct art form in an article published by Sol LeWitt in 1967. Only loosely definable as a movement, it emerged more or less simultaneously in North America, Europe and Latin America and had repercussions on more conventional spheres of artistic production spawning artists’ books as a separate category and contributing substantially to the acceptance of photographs, musical scores, architectural drawings and performance art on an equal footing with painting and sculpture.

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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