Global Art Since CE Search for: Dematerialization Conceptual Art Conceptual art is defined by concepts or ideas taking precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Learning Objectives Relate the development of conceptual art to both formalism and the dematerialization of art Key Takeaways Key Points Conceptual art emerged as a movement during the s. In part, it was a reaction against formalism articulated by the influential New York art critic Clement Greenberg. French artist Marcel Duchamp paved the way for the conceptualists, providing examples of prototypically conceptual works such as his ready-mades.
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Jun 2, Lucy Lippard—giant of American art criticism, author of more than 20 books, and co-founder of Printed Matter, the quintessential seller of books made by artists—turned 80 this year.
In the essay, Lippard presented evidence that art might be entering a phase of pure intellectualism, the result of which could be the complete disappearance of the traditional art object. The piece grew out of, and helped contextualize, the preceding decade or so of wildly inventive conceptual art, which often left behind only ephemeral, non-archival relics, or no relics at all other than perhaps recordings of experiences.
Conceptual artists were devoted to making ideas the central focus of their work, and many argued convincingly that the objects artists make in order to express their ideas are nothing but waste products, and that the ideas themselves are the only things worthy of consideration. The essay was enormously influential at the time: so much so that Lippard followed it up with a book called Six Years, extensively analyzing evidence of the trend.
But obviously in the long run her premonition was inaccurate, since art objects still have yet to dematerialize. In that book, Schillinger divided all of art history into five categories of aesthetic phenomena. Next came ritualistic or religious art.
Then came emotional art. Then rational, empirical-based art. And she was excited about the notion. She considered dematerialization a positive, vital shift. After all, if the aesthetic object could cease to exist as the central focus of art then art could be freed from commodification, the often vile system that exerts so much destructive force on the lives and work of many artists. Such movements she believed diminished the importance of the visual aspect of an artwork, defining the visual as more of a jumping off point for an immaterial, intellectual experience.
But one of the early, and obvious, criticisms of The Dematerialization of Art was that even though these ephemeral, conceptual concepts were less object-based, they still nonetheless results in physical phenomena. Even a performance artist creates a thing—a performance—which can be sold as an experience, or recorded. No matter how slight a relic an artist creates, it can become fetishized and traded as a commodity. The only way to completely avoid the possibility of commodification is to never share an idea: then perhaps the reverence and sanctity of the intellectual experience can be preserved.
But only shared ideas can truly be called art. And as soon as an idea is shared, it can be possessed, manipulated, and expressed in other ways, or in other words, materialized. And as soon as something materializes it can be bought and sold as a commodity. It is always tempting for each generation to see itself as standing on the forefront of modernity. Schillinger thought art had been progressing historically through phases, and Lippard thought she was part of the generation that was advancing art toward its evolutionary apex.
But time does not move forward; it just passes. Culture is not linear; it repeats itself. Humanity devolves as rapidly as it is evolves. And the truth was in the s and 70s, and still is today, that artists are finding ways to dematerialize as rapidly as others are rediscovering how to materialize it. Ultimately, Lippard must have also realized this even as she wrote on the topic of dematerialization, because her essay concludes by asking if the so-called zero point in art is likely to be reached soon.
Anything that can be seen is by definition material, even if it can only be seen through virtual reality goggles. But in our opinion that only proves that perhaps achieving dematerialization was never really the point.
The point Lippard was truly making was simply that one important aspect of visual art is to engage tirelessly in the search to discover how to express more with less. Any artist working toward dematerialization is also working toward simplicity. And simplicity leads to the discovery of what is truly indispensable, and thus truly meaningful. That is definitely not the final phase of art. But it is one that is capable of reminding us what the value of art truly is.
What Was Dematerialization? (And What Does It Mean in the Age of "The Cloud"?)
Quotes[ edit ] Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. In: WhiteWalls, Vol. Price The Cultural Geography Reader. John Chandler and Lucy R.
LIPPARD DEMATERIALIZATION PDF
Akikinos If you do not agree to these Terms, you may not access or use demateria,ization Site. In the course of your use of the Site, you may be asked to provide certain information to us. All of our frames come with picture quality. Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art The Brooklyn Rail She arrived at New Dramatists, an artistic home and laboratory for playwrights where Lucy was in-residence from — 12, eager to talk about her new appointment as the head of the graduate playwriting division at the New School. There are a host of artists who still engage with tensions of dematerialization and its opposite, materialization.
What Was The Dematerialization of Art Object?
Jun 2, Lucy Lippard—giant of American art criticism, author of more than 20 books, and co-founder of Printed Matter, the quintessential seller of books made by artists—turned 80 this year. In the essay, Lippard presented evidence that art might be entering a phase of pure intellectualism, the result of which could be the complete disappearance of the traditional art object. The piece grew out of, and helped contextualize, the preceding decade or so of wildly inventive conceptual art, which often left behind only ephemeral, non-archival relics, or no relics at all other than perhaps recordings of experiences. Conceptual artists were devoted to making ideas the central focus of their work, and many argued convincingly that the objects artists make in order to express their ideas are nothing but waste products, and that the ideas themselves are the only things worthy of consideration.
Lucy R. Lippard