Conceptual art challenges the traditional notion of art that is exhibited by paintings and sculptures. It is a form of art that gives more importance to concepts or ideas rather than technicalities and aesthetic presentation of an artwork.
Conceptual art is also called conceptualism. In essence, conceptual art can look like almost anything. A conceptual artist utilises whatever materials or form around that can best depict the idea. The world first saw conceptual art made by Marcel Duchamp in 1917. That time, he bought a porcelain urinal in New York and signed it with his pseudonym “R. Mutt”. He called it Fountain.
The Society of Independent Artists in New York rejected this saying that it was made by the artist without any intention of being an art. After many years, more and more artists embraced the conceptual art from Rene Magritte (The Treachery of Images, 1928) to Dan Graham (Present ContinuoLoris Greaudus Pasts, 1974), Sophie Calle (The Hotel: Room 24, March 2, 1981), Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Perfect Lovers, 1991), and Thomas Demand (Kitchen, 2004).
One famous conceptual artist of this generation is Loris Greaud. In fact, international critics recognised him as one of the most important artists of this generation. He is also an architect and filmmaker. Here are some of his notable works:
The encyclopedia of Irresolution
This project was initiated in 2008 and completed in 2014. The books are carved from volcanic rock. Each volume was polished and engraved with “encyclopedia of irresolution”. The dark volume formed from the thick basalt.
The Unplayed Notes
In 2012, Greaud released a short film that utilised HD thermal imaging camera. Thermal imaging cameras record hot spots. It is commonly used by the military. However, Greaud thought of using it to film a man and woman having intercourse. The film showed the two bodies as if they are floating. The physical space vanishes for precise reproduction.
Another work of art in 2012 is Tainted Love. This work of art is sculpted from cut padlocks. The 130 kilograms of cut padlocks on Pont des Arts in Paris were melted and molded. Greaud was trying to recapture a gesture common to lovers: sealing their love through a padlock.
In 2010, researchers investigated the mystery behind the effect used by da Vinci to portray realistic and hazy appearance to his art pieces. The researchers found out that the formula is a combination of oil, resin, manganese oxide and a hint of copper. With this, Greaud couldn’t resist creating something out of Leonardo da Vinci’s formula. He created the Sfumato.