Beyond Conceptual Art
This blog begins with a description of conceptual art. "In the 1960s artists in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America began experimenting with art that emphasized ideas instead of physical product. In 1967 artist Sol LeWitt gave this new art a name in his essay Paragraphs on Conceptual Art. He wrote, 'The idea itself, even if it is not made visual, is as much of a work of art as any finished product.'" (Source: MomaLearning)
For more than half a century conceptual art has played a significant role in American and European art and on the art market. I am not a professional art critic, but personally I believe it is time to move on. As a reference point for this article, I want to cite an article I found on Wikipedia under "conceptual art". The article contains a section titled, Notable Examples. It lists fifty-four examples dating from 1917 to 2014. Here is a sample:
"1953: Robert Rauschenberg created Erased De Kooning Drawing, a drawing by Willem de Kooning which Rauschenberg erased." "1960: Yves Klein's action called A Leap Into The Void, in which he attempts to fly by leaping out of a window. He stated, 'The painter has only to create one masterpiece, himself, constantly.'" "2001: Martin Creed wins the Turner Prize for The Lights Going On and Off, an empty room in which lights go on and off." "2005: Simon Starling wins the Turner Prize for Shedboatshed, a wooden shed which he had turned into a boat, floated down the Rhine and turned back into a shed again."
I can appreciate the value of some of the earlier works listed in the Wikipedia article, since they did make interesting statements relative to the time they were created. However, most of the later work seems endlessly repetitious of the earlier works. In addition, the concepts themselves are uninspired. There is a great deal of inspiring work being created around the world today that are more deserving of our attention and patronage. So what's next? Contenders include Post Conceptual, Postmodern Art and Post Avant-Guarde. Less mainstream contenders include Transpersonal Art, Integral Art and Visionary Art. By whatever name, my hope is that it is something that reflects an evolution in consciousness. Alex Grey, perhaps the most widely recognized transpersonal artist, has said, "We need to sensitize and refine our own spiritual sensibility, have mystical experiences, and go on a spiritual journey in order to encounter the states of being that will then translate into authentic works of spiritual art." (Source: Article by Joel Metzler, Online Noetic Network) I fully agree with Grey. I am looking for examples of "authentic spiritual art" and will share them with you on my Pinterest boards.
I have a proposal for, The Last Conceptual Art Piece. It is called, Thought-free Planet. In the piece piece, social media will be used to promote "three minutes without thought". At four prearranged dates/times, people around the world will meditate together and attempt to achieve a state of mind free of thought. The digital painting included with this blog edition is titled, “Yes, Yes, No”. In this image, the inner sphere, combined with the pyramid and mountain create a feeling of suspended time. The pyramid and mountain have long been used in a symbolic way in imagery and architecture. J.E. Cirlot is a great source regarding symbolism and his book, A Dictionary of Symbols discusses the mountain, pyramid, and other symbols.