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 becomes the machine that makes the […]

The Evolution of Art: Artworks That Advanced Our Understanding of the Medium, Part I

Today, art can be almost anything. But there was a time in the not-so-distant past when abstraction was inconceivable, and it was believed that art could only represent something that already existed in the real world. There was a time when an object couldn’t be considered art unless it showed evidence of the artist’s touch. And until […]

Odd Man in: The Sculptor Robert Morris, at 86, Is Still Blazing Trails

During his long, illustrious career, Robert Morris has constructed sculptures that startle, question, challenge and flout expectations. Since the early 1960s, he has made, in a range of materials, spare, geometric forms; Dada-like objects; ephemeral works; land art; environments with sound systems that play scripted narratives; proto-selfies; dramatic pastel pictures with elaborate sculpted frames; performance […]

Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist on What Makes Painting an “Urgent” Medium Today

Painting has always served as a kind of laboratory for innovative ways of looking at the world, from the perspectival experiments of Alberti all the way to Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, abstraction,Minimalism, et cetera. Painters often saw themselves as an advance guard, pushing a kind of investigation forward in new terrain. Here, you’ve mentioned how in […]

A Movement in a Moment: Land Art

Discover how a generation of artists swapped pencils for dumper trucks as they made the world their canvas. In the summer of 1967, while hitchhiking his way from St Martin’s School of Art to his home city of Bristol, the British art student Richard Long stopped in a field in Wiltshire, and walked repeatedly in […]

White Light/White Heat: Why Robert Ryman’s Subtle Monochromes Dazzle Anew at Dia

Is Robert Ryman, the master of the white-on-white painting for the past half-century or so, a covert “Light and Space” artist? The Dia Art Foundation’s new exhibition in Chelsea, “Robert Ryman: Real Light, 1958-2007,” certainly encourages us to see him this way—as another example of the California-centric, Minimalism-influenced movement that includes James Turrell, Robert Irwin, […]

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 […]

An Introduction to Process Art (Or, How Minimalism Went From Pretty to Gritty)

The common refrain, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” could make a perfect catchphrase for Process Art. A movement that arose in the 1960s and ’70s and has since expanded in definition to describe a general philosophical approach to making art, Process Art places its emphasis on the process and act of artistic creation rather than the […]

Agnes Martin: the artist mystic who disappeared into the desert

In the summer of 1967, Martin left New York and went off-grid before reappearing in New Mexico. The art she made there – with its buoyant bands of colour – offer no clues to the turbulent life of an artist who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Ahead of a major retrospective, Olivia Laing celebrates her […]