Conceptual art definition
One defining aspect of conceptual art is the idea, which does not necessary have to be executed for it to be considered art. Because of this, the birth of conceptual art seemed to contradict what constitutes art. Simultaneously, it expanded the boundaries of art.
In this day and age, a better question would be: “Can you define conceptual art?”. If you would ask that question to ten conceptual artists, I’d bet they’d all give you a different answer. If there’s one thing conceptual artists excel at, it’s the redefinition of the concept of art. Hence the name.
The artform is sometimes called conceptualism. The -ism is, in this case, just. Conceptualism can be seen as a complete ideology by itself, for it rocked the artworld to its core, as stated earlier.
Birth of the movement
Conceptual art was preceded by Marcel Duchamp, an artist from the Dada movement. Duchamp created the concept ‘’Readymade’’; a certain item, chosen by the artist, would instantaneously pass as art. Without any form of adaptation made to it, save the artist’s signature.
With his Readymades, Duchamp challenged the popular idea that a work of art, such as a painting or installation, needs to display artistic skill. Reducing the material necessary to create the work of art to the absolute minimum gave birth to the dematerialization of art. Even today what passes as art to some, will not be considered. Warhol’s Brill Boxes is a perfect example of an ordinary item that will not pass as art to the uninitiated.