Contemporary dating definition
It was associated with artists like Robert Indiana (b.1928), Jasper Johns (b.1930), On Kawara (1932-2014), Barbara Kruger (b.1945) and Christopher Wool (b.1955).
Conceptual art is a postmodernist art movement founded on the principle that art is a 'concept' rather than a material object.
The late-1960s and 1970s also witnessed the appearance of "Body Art", a type of Performance in which the artist's own flesh becomes the canvas and subsequently "performs" in a suitably shocking, newsworthy manner (for more see below).
During the 1980s, Performance art increasingly relied on technology (video, computers) to deliver its "artistic" message.
Some experts point to the fact that the postmodern era demands more than the passive experience of "viewing" a work of art, and that Conceptualism provides a more interactive experience.
Whether this added entertainment value helps an "idea" to qualify as a work of art, is rather doubtful.
Please note however, that the transition from modernism to postmodernism was a gradual one, which took place during the decade of the 1960s.
Thus the difficulty for Conceptualism is to show how it qualifies as art, as opposed to entertainment, theatre, or political commentary.By contrast, postmodernist artists have less interest in this kind of product and more interest in the ideas behind it.This helps to explain the growth of new types of art - such as installation art (including sound and video installations), conceptualism (a wide category of 'ideas art'), happenings (type of performance art), video installations, projection mapping, and outdoor earthworks (environmental constructions) - in which either there is no finished product to speak of, or else it is transient and recorded only as an 'event'.It has been suggested that this has the characteristics of a Conceptual artwork, because walking past the huge pile of shoes helps us to comprehend the terrifying reality of the gas chambers.Indeed it does, but frankly it doesn't turn the shoes into a work of art, or indeed any type of artistic statement.
Contemporary artists associated with this genre include the pioneer Allan Kaprow (1927-2006), Yves Klein (1928-62), Gilbert & George (b.1943, 1942), and the extraordinary Joseph Beuys (1921-86), who created the innovative performance How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965).