Eliminating The Aesthetic: The Validity of Conceptual Art

Essay by starraider April 2004

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In the late 1960s, several artists involved in the development of Conceptual Art (notably the Americans Joseph Kosuth and Sol LeWitt, and the Anglo/American group Art & Language) put forward a substantial challenge to the conventional belief that aesthetic judgments are valid within art. Although this way of thinking was not entirely new, the late sixties marked a time when artists themselves began to argue for a separation between aesthetics and art..

I believe that such Conceptual Artists portray immense skill in presenting and communicating powerful messages. In contrast to this Perceptual Artists present visual information and use this as their sole method of communication.

Although Perceptual art demonstrates skill in the manipulation of visual media and techniques Conceptual Art grasps the audience by making them think more and can often overwhelm the viewer with the sensory experience of the idea or issue. Conceptual Art challenges people's conceptions of what art actually is and also, challenges the traditional status and unique nature of artistic objects.

Therefore I believe Conceptual art is immensely successful in communicating and creating depth within the concept of art. Conceptual

Art often asks many questions not only of an art object but also of the viewer's who are examining it or reading about it. It can make its audience self-conscious and can often propose personal questions of justice and inhumane perceptions. Conceptual Art uses contemporary media and creates innovations in presenting insights about society's issues and ideas. It can include

installations, performance, assemblageand site-specific work where In these, the

audience is not just viewing the art but rather being shoved into the environmental context, and becoming part of the work of art itself. Conceptual Art highlights social factors and is often emotional, psychological and confrontational. These factors provide the meaning behind the work and emphasise the...