Apr 23, (pp4) “Because the proposal inherent in Conceptual Art was to replace the object of spatial and perceptual experience by linguistic definition. Conceptual Art From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique Type: Article; Author(s): Benjamin H. D. Buchloh; Date: ; Volume: 55; Page. Buchloh, conceptual – Course Materials Read more about conceptual, aesthetic, artistic, visual, artists and kosuth.

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If a physical object of some sort was present it was either perplexingly bare or badly executed and aesthetically unappealing.

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh – ‘From an Aesthetics of Administration to a Critique of Institutions.’

While commonly considered two fundamentally opposing ideologies, in this essay I wish to argue that the two ideologies were, in fact, not as inimical as they are commonly considered to be.

Both Greenberg and the Conceptualists championed artworks devoid of theatricality — artworks that would keep viewers in control of their critical agency. It was a clash of strategy rather than ideology. The s Conceptualists, therefore, sought to trade the visual for the conceptual; they sought to redirect the focus, both in making and cobceptual appreciation, from the external form to the underlying idea. However, the assertion that Greenberg himself opposed the cerebral experience and championed the sensational experience is presumptuous.

It is this focus on the physical properties of an artwork that allows for emotionally rather than intellectually disinterested observation. Such a huchloh is not numbing, but critical and even reflective. Greenberg acknowledged the importance of reflection, in his earlier essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch when he wrote: And this is where he and the Conceptualists came into disagreement.

Notes on Institutional Critique

While Greenberg called attention to the surface of an object, Conceptualists regarded ideas as the most important part of the artistic process and the artistic experience. In the Conceptualists view, the focus on an idea leads to a more critical engagement and a deeper intellectual understanding of a work. Focus on the form, on the other hand, seduces and causes a visceral reaction, even if this was not a reaction that Greenberg himself hoped for. With this in view, Conceptual art did come in as a necessary avant-garde movement offering a new breed of unexpected and shocking art, and restructuring the conventional perception.


Shying away from then conventional artistic practice, the Conceptualists made the material form aesthetically bare and disturbingly unappealing [22] as to encourage, even force, the viewer to delve underneath this surface and uncover the idea that justifies this austere physical expression.

Agitated and perturbed by the lack of visual stimuli, the viewer was forced to search for a new way to engage with and appreciate art. Actively participating in the unpacking of the artistic intention an ideathe viewer was no longer an outside observer of a fully materialised thus completed work but a participant in its completion. As noted by Lucy Lippard, this was a move from imaging to imagining.

But this active participation in the work might have had become, as noted by modernist art critic Michael Fried, a sort of a theatrical experience. This, as it buvhloh out, is the curse of any avant-garde movement that succeeds in its attempt to alter an old system of thought and create space for its own ideology. Paradoxically, the success buchkoh the avant-garde is simultaneously its end. What I have argued in this essay is that both Greenberg and the Conceptualists were radical in their own time.

Even though their strategies differed, both started with a similar premise — an appreciation of art that kept the viewer at a critical distance from the work.


University of California Press,xiii. Buchloh here bbuchloh only to the Conceptual Art but in my view this thought [i. Johnson, Modern Art and the Object: A Century of Changing Attitudes.

Thames and Concsptual,p It would be inappropriate to look at my art and like it for the formal properties or any of its secondary attributes. Critical EssaysBoston: Beacon Press,p Thus installed within the canon, the freest form of art now lacked freedom.

bucgloh More and more painters produced more and more paintings which got bigger and bigger and emptier and emptier. It was this very stylistic conformity prescribed by MoMA and the broader social contract cconceptual which it was a part, that brought Abstract Expressionism to the verge of kitsch. The New Press,p LeWitt confirms these attitudes when he writes in the Sentences: Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.

Lippard also quotes artist David Wojnarowicz saying: Lewitt goes on to say: His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Futurism and Pop Art: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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