PRINT Summer 1991


THE ADVENTURE OF CONTEMPORARY ART can be seen as beginning with Impressionism and ending with Conceptual art. The progressive restriction and contraction perceptible in this century’s worth of work have close analogies in literature, music, and even philosophy: faced with the advance of the mass media and of the sciences, all these creative fields defended themselves through a “castling” process, to use a chess term—a retreat, a search for their essence. Bit by bit, they ended up interested most of all in themselves, staking out a meta-artistic, or metaliterary, or metaphilosophical territory that gave them a foundation for being something qualitatively different from utilitarian products or pragmatic discourses.

According to Hegel, the denial of objectivity, of matter, of exteriority, is a characteristic of Romantic art. From this point of view, Conceptual art was the end point of a trend

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.