DADA Manifesto Explained – Hugo Ball Versus Tristan Tzara

As in every human endeavor when two strong personalities meet, opinions may clash and an argument often ensues. The same applies to the art world. Dada Manifesto is not a singular writing; over the years several were made, including perhaps the best-known by Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara. Ball wrote his manifesto in 1916, and […]

The power of Piero Manzoni and his Merda d’Artista

In January 1957 the 23-year-old aristocratic Italian artist Piero Manzoni visited an exhibition of Yves Klein’s blue paintings at Galleria Apollinaire in Milan. Manzoni had been a fairly conventional painter up until this visit. Yet, Klein’s display of canvas after canvas of unfaltering blue altered the way the young Italian saw and made art. If […]

Marcel Broodthaers’s Fraught Relationship with Words

Do words limit our experience of a given artwork? Gustave Flaubert believed that, “Explaining one artistic form by means of another is a monstrosity.” Art critic John Bergerwrote: “When words are applied to visual art, both lose precision.” And what if the words are in the art? Expressed by the artist herself? From Cubism to […]

From Duchamp to Demand: 10 Masterpieces That Show the Evolution of Conceptual Art

In a 1967 Artforum article titled “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” the artist Sol LeWitt gave a simple definition for what would soon become one of the crucial facets of contemporary art in the 20th century and beyond. “In conceptual art,” he writes, “the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work….The idea […]

How to Think About Conceptual Art

There has been a lot of bickering about what Conceptual art is/was; who began it; who did what when with it; what its goals, philosophy, and politics were and might have been. I was there, but I don’t trust my memory. I don’t trust anyone else’s either.  – Lucy Lippard, “Escape Attempts” The term “concept art” […]