“Romantic Conceptualism”

Kunsthalle Nürnberg

Though the pairing of Romanticism with Conceptual art is hardly common in art-historical writing, Conceptual art has long been misunderstood as a necessarily dry affair. Even Sol LeWitt, who famously stated in his 1967 “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” that an “emotional kick” would “deter the viewer from perceiving this art,” wrote two years later in his “Sentences” that “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” From the beginning, artists such as Bas Jan Ader and Robert Barry, among others, have breached the ratio of the conceptual with aspects of the autobiographical, emotional, irrational, poetic, and even sentimental. And today a younger generation of artists adopts conceptual strategies and paraphrases conceptual works—often with a sense of nostalgia toward the original. But where exactly do Romanticism and Conceptual

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