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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Conceptual Art

Yesterday, when doing a Google search, I noticed the header illustration had changed. I find the illustrations always pleasing and generally they tie into the season or holiday. The new photo had me baffled. What was it, and what did it represent? Was there some cultural reference I was missing? When you hit my advanced age (let's just say 50+), it is no longer easy to keep up with the youth culture.

I right-clicked on the illustration and found the name Jeff Koons. Then, I did a google search on Koons and discovered that he is an American conceptual artist. Okay, conceptual art--what is that? This being a library, I thought it would be easy. I went to The Dictionary of Art [R 703 DIC]. If you haven't seen The Dictionary of Art, let me tell ya, it's an awesome, 34 volume set, of almost everything you could possibly want to know about art! I found this definition in volume 7:
Conceptual art [idea art; information art]. Term applied to work produced from the mid-196-s that either markedly de-emphasized or entirely eliminated a perceptual encounter with unique objects in favour of an engagement with ideas.
Well, that's clear as mud! So, I went to Koons' website and had a look around.

I still don't get it, but it certainly is fun! And, since his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Guggenheim Museum (NY), The National Gallery (Washington, DC), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Tate Gallery (London, UK), Stedelijk Museum (the Netherlands), Museum Ludwig (Germany), and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (Japan), someone must "get" it.

If you're interested in learning more about contemporary art, plan a trip to the newly renovated Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. The library has a pass that you can reserve! Sign up for one of their ARTalks
ARTalk lectures and gallery talks explore works of art in the Currier’s collection from a variety of angles and put them into cultural, social, and historical contexts.
When you learn about conceptual art, come back and explain it to me!

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