Art&Language

Conceptual art that privileges the relationship between a work of art and its environment, and a work of art and the observer. Examples are mirrors that have no content and only reflect the environment and/or invite the observer to interact.

Some works address the issue of art that has no physical object, and resorts to text to describe it.

Secret Painting 1967-68 is a black square painted within a black square and thus has nothing in it. But with accompanying block of text next to it in a dyptych frame the same size as the painting stating ‘the content of this painting is invisible. The character and dimension of the content are to be kept permanently secret, known only to the artist. ‘ a sort of joke, using text to indicate that the painting is still a work of art.

https://media.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection_images/3/30.2003.a-b%23%23S.jpg

In terms of my own work I am not really sure of the relevance – I find the whole discussion somewhat obscure, self-indulgent and pedantic.

The main points that have some interest for me are that:

  • it is possible to produce a image that is completely opaque as a means of attracting the viewer’s attention to a piece of text.
  • it is possible to produce an image whose main function is to reflect back to the viewer and leave the interpretation completely to them.