Conceptual Art Final Piece

Firstly, I started with this image I took of a reflection of myself in the mirror holding a blank piece of paper and edited the Camera Raw settings with the brightness and contrast.Image


Next, I cropped the image so that it was closer to the paper to then edit text onto it easy for the viewer to read.Image

The I wrote the words ‘This is a reflection of your own words’ using the text tool to place on top of the paper adjusting the text size.Image

I then put the text centered on the page as i felt it fit the image better than it having a left center alignment. Image

Then this was the final outcome:Image


I found that this idea depicted conceptual art the most out of the six ideas I came up with. I feel it is tautology in the way it is saying ‘art is art is art’ and in my own it says ‘reflection’ through the reflection of a mirror. I also feel it has the characteristics of conceptual art as it is a form of using photographs and it’s a written sentence but not using it in a typography style as they dislike that term being used within conceptual art. Again by creating this concept within my art it questions the main theme within this movement of what is art, could my piece be classed as art in some peoples mind and it makes you think about what you’re reading and looking at. I think my final piece is successful in the way that it represents what I was going for and the way I’ve linked it back to the ideas of the conceptual art movement. Also, in how I have used limited amount of materials which is what they try and do also within the movement. 


Death to the Future

– Modernism to post modernism-

Modern- Of the now

Modernism- History of modern art

Modernity- context, technological advances- things that happened- Wider implications of modernism, whole time period that took place around art.


(Abstraction is the key characteristics of modern art.)


timescale: 1869-1970s


– industrial revolution

– movement from rural to urban environments

– WW1 & WW2

– Rise of the middle class

– Changes in communication

– Scientific advances

– Rational, Simple, Geometric, Undecorated

– Optimistic – Utopian (Best of all possible worlds) and Utilitarian (greatest good for greatest no. of people) – nobody believes in it anymore

– Priutt Igoe Housing complex 1972 destroyed


Themes and concerns:

– Progress

– Production

– Death of god (secularism)

-Form follows function & exploration of new materials (Bauhaus)

– Utopian & Utilitarian – optimism

– Breakdown

-Formalism (Greenburg)

– Rejection & rebellion

– Abstraction



Timescale: 1970’s-1990’s


– information age

– world wide web

– dissolution of totaling truths

– sense of fragmentation (no truths – we dont trust) and decentered self; multiple, conflicting identities

– Importance of global economies- so many choices

– scepticism towards everything

– culture of surveillance

– globalisation


Modernism– middle class men tell us what true and what’s not.

Post-modernism- everyone’s opinions matter.


Jeff Koons- borrows from others

Cindy Sherman


Themes and concerns:

– consumption

– no particular style

– eclecticism- wide range of stuff- borrowing

– appropriation- borrowing- nicking ideas

– mixing of materials

– ornament and decoration

– witty and ironic

– contradictions and complecity

– social/political critique

– Ambiguity- vague

– mixed media, intertextuality- anything can be text- films, advertisements

– parody, irony and nastalgia ( fuzzy feeling about looking backwards)

– meaning is socially constructed not revealed ‘truth’


Mark Tansey 

A short history of modernist painting 1982

– 3 images on one piece

– pre-modern art of classic art -into another world

– three dimensional image on a two dimensional plane- flat image

– self referential- anything can be art



AT&T building- ornament

Playful humour?


Barnett Newman

Who is scared of Red, Yellow and Blue? 1966


Philip Taaffe

We are not Afraid 1985


– acrylic


Cindy Sherman


– gender roles are socially changed


Roger Brown

Talk show addicts 1993

– etching and aquatint


Christo and claude

Trees (wrapped up)

– Fresh eyes

– New


Modernism, Postmodernism and Beyond!

-YBA and 21st Century Art-

YBA- Young British Artists: 1990-2000

Open to interpretations

-Hype – marketing – sensations exhibitiom – artist as brand



– Thatcher’s britain

– emerged from art schools in late 80’s

– teachers and students came together to consider contemporary life and culture

– freeze exhibition 1988


– life – love -sex -deth – destruction -society

Main artists:

– Damien Hirst, Tracy Emmin, Sarah Lucas, Jim Lambie, Mat Collishaw, Gary Hume, Sam Tayor- Wood, Gillian Wearing


Damien Hirst

“Artists are like everybody else”

– cycle of life and death


Diamond skull- Damien Hirst

– both humans and diamonds are made of carbon


– blood diamonds (film)


21st century art- The now!

– artists as celebrity and brand- a shift from art towards the artist

– globalisation- wide range of telecommunication

– sustainability

– internet as the printing press of the 21st century web 2.0 technology

– the turner prize- a barometer of 21st century art



– the world is effectively sinking


– up-cycling in fashion – make something better than it was

– recycle, reuse, reduce

– environmentalism


Andy Goldsworthy

” I enjoy working in a quiet and subversive way”


Cornelia Parker

” There’s such a freedom about being an artist… You’re not accountable- you’re this renegade thing”

– cartoon endings made into art


Jenny Holzer 1950

– truisims


Julian Opie

“I am simply using which is available to describe that which is experienced”


– album cover




Barbara Kruger

-Used to be magazines editor and uses the layout to make her art

– identity is fragmented ‘you are not yourself’

– Passive – traditionally look away ‘your gaze hits the side of my face’

-active- looking directly at the viewer


David Shrigley

‘worried’, ‘I’m dead’, ‘going nowhere’


The End of Art? -Op, Pop and Conceptual Art-

-Op, Pop and conceptual art-


Bridget Riley

– fall 1963

-swirly lines

– monochromatic

– physical response created

– all about perception

– depth, it looks three-dimensional due to the waves formed through the optical swirled lines.


Op Art

Timescale: late 1950’s- 60’s

Concerns and themes:

-Geometric abstract art

– Creates illusion of movement

– Uses theories from psychology of perception

– Physical response

– big influence on fashion

Main artists:

– Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, Jesus-Rafael sotto, Vicor Vasarely


What is popular culture?

… it includes Tv, music, Films, Fashion form


The rise of the teenagers…

There was no distinct difference between parents and children until now.


Victor Vasarely – untitled 1963

– Not as many lines

– same width

– Not curved

– Geometric

– Shapes made with lines


Sotto untitled 1959

– a Mix of painting and sculpture

– Kinetic art- viewer moving around makes the movement

– new technologies allowing it to happen


Richard Hamilton

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? 1956

– materials: photography, collage cut outs

– saturated collage

– included new technology like old tape players, hoover, tv, bill boards, theatre

– end of rationing

– packaging design

– advertising posters

– moon landing ceiling

– mass production

– ford first cars


Pop Art

Timescale: late 1950’s-60’s

Themes and concerns:

– celebration of modern consumerism after Austerity of the war years

– brash colourful world of advertising, comic strips and popular entertainment

– popular (designed for mass audience), transient, expendable, low cost, mass produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big buisness (Hamilton definition)

Main artists:

– Andy Warhol, Blake, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Hamilton


Peter Blake

 cover art 1967

– bright


– brash colours

– glamorous celebrities

– Popular culture

– collage

-Rock n’ Roll

– Fine art and pop combined


Andy warhol

Marilyn Monroe 

– screen prints- handmade

– depression

– colours are bright and represent a glamorous star

– different colours, tones, faded- fading away may infer the journey to her death

– black and white side could infer depression meds



Whaam 1963

– pop culture to draw in teenagers



– colours- primary


Conceptual Art

– from Duchamp to the present-


Sol LeWitt

Five open geometric structures 1979

-self referential in the way it refers to itself (is what it says it is)

– minimal with concept

– the idea of the piece is the most important thing


Timescale: mid 1950’s and ongoing

Various media- but the IDEA is the main focus

Influenced by:

– Dada ready-made

– Fluxus

– Minimalism

Main artists:

– Joseph Buys, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth

Themes and concerns:

– concept before object

– Art work can exist as an idea- a work of art is not dependent on the object/work itself

-direct defiance of art market- destroy the idea of value

– art need not take any physical form at all

– self conscious and self referential- they created art that is about art


Sol LeWitt

Wall Drawing #1136 2004

-sold idea with instructions and therefore not made by the artist but more the concept of the design idea

– therefore with instructions cannot be the same as what the artist had thought with the idea and is different every time it’s done


Joseph Kosuth

One and three chairs 1965

– Photograph of the chair, Chair, Definition of the chair- You need all 3 to make a chair and that was the idea of one and three chairs. A clever concept on an everyday object



Op art-

… Manipulates views visual response, physical response, stark contrast, links with kinetic art


Pop Art-

… Roots in history of modern art, industrialisation, deals with contemporary life; urban, mass production.


Conceptual Art-

… The idea is more important than the art. Defiance of ‘Art Market’ and a reaction to abstract expressionism. Art can be made by others. 


Visual Analysis- Pop Art

Title: Standard station 1966

Artist: Ed Ruscha 

Medium/ Technique: screenprint

Date accessed: 6/03/14

Reference: Thursday 6th March 2014

This piece is a pop art movement due to it’s visual representation and communication, an american dream of optimism and naive that was going on at the time. In this way the piece looks like it’s a petrol station with it’s bright and bold colours. Around the time of this piece there was an anti vietnam war protest going on around the world. With the piece he wanted to blend the imagery of Hollywood with colourful renderings of commercial culture and the landscape of the southwest. This is one of his most iconic prints as he repeatedly used gasoline stations in his book Twentysix Gasoline Stations 1963, from a road trip through the American Southwestern countryside; trying to portray commercial culture. The perspective is flatterned as a composition to depict commercial advertising and leads from the far right to the top left leading the eye across to the foreground with one long leading line. He also used text within the piece to give interplay between art and text. The colour in the background is complementary blues and oranges, but also blends from orange to red as an analogous colour scheme making it look calm, warm and harmonious. He’s used the geometric shapes of the gasoline station through the windows, signs and gasoline tanks. The piece seems a smooth texture and feathery in the background.The image leaves the top right half spacious and the bottom left is filled with the gasoline station and the shapes it creates. It’s the way it presents the popular culture within the image that makes it the style of pop art. 

Mark Rothko- Visual Analysis



Mark Rothko, no.9 (1947)

–       oil on canvas

–       date accessed: 27/ 02/14

–       reference:


Around he time of this painting on February 10th in 1947 the World War Two peace treaties was signed and the Voice of America begins broadcasting to USSR. You can tell the painting is from abstract surrealism by the big scale and bright colours that represented the movements style by uniting the artists together in American at a time when Europe was in a political instability in the 1930s. This painting was along with a series of eleven paintings altogether. In his earlier work he did landscapes and figures but he left them behind and started to work on painting like this one which included the ‘multiform’ featured blurred shapes created from layered washes of paint. The painting includes warm reds, oranges and yellows that are distributed by the strange black mass coming in from the left as well as the brushy swirled lines of blue in the lower section of the painting. From the blues compared to the yellows and reds they give and light and dark tone again separating the image. The image looks rough and grainy by the brush strokes. Each layer has a blurred edge that separate it from each blocked colour beginning to show through the rectangular shapes it’s made; that is also experimented with size and scale also. Although it wouldn’t necessarily be considered as abstract expressionism Rothko believed these were abstract forms “Organisms…with the passion for self-expression”.  His work wasn’t just about presenting colour relationships but he thought it was in expressing the big emotions- tragedy, ecstasy and doom. 

Selection tools On Photoshop (cut outs)

To cut out this image of a wheel I used the Elliptical Marquee Tool to see if I could get a circular cut out of the wheel (first image). However this second image with spaces of the sky. So instead I used the polygonal Lasso Tool to select the wheel more precisely or I could used the quick selection tool that quickly selects the block of area you want giving you the ability to add or take away from your selection. Allowing you to then cut out the wheel and place wherever or copy it as a new layer on top of the original. 




Using Selection tools to create Surrealist Art:



I Cut out the ‘mini me’s’ using the quick selection tool so I could re-scale and manipulate them to look like miniature cloned characters. I duplicated each miniature character using the quick selection tool so I could ‘colour overlay’ it in photoshop and add a shadow to make it look more realistic. I then used the ‘Pen tool’ to select and cut out a piece of branch to make it look like the structure to hold the clones on. I then finally drew on the strings with a light grey colour to make the top two look like puppets on a string being controlled by the larger scale of myself.  




This image was inspired by the photographer Ari Mahardhika. I used the polygonal lasso tool to select and cut around all the miniature characters to then manipulate and place onto this large image of a large scale me with the camera. I placed them where I thought fit and so they would look like they’re all helping and taking part in taking a self-portrait with each character having a vital role in composition the image. To finish the image off i could have selected each layer of the miniature characters and auto toned them so they didn’t stand out as darker characters from the large scale character and therefore would have given a more realistic effect on the final image. 




This image was inspired by Guiseppe Mastromatteo. I manipulated two photographers together, one where i had my arm down and the side of my face showing and the other with my arm up. I then layered them on top of each other and had the arm one opaque so that i could see the one without the arm showing through to therefore align the eye up onto the arm. I then used the polygonal lasso tool to select the eye and eyebrow and then cut and place on top of the arm. I placed this layer on top of the layer with the arm up to my face and then deleted the layer with the arm down so i only had the cut out of the eye and eyebrow. I then changed the tone and contrast of the eye so that it fit the shades and tones of the arm and therefore giving an absurd, surreal and mind-boggling effect to the viewer. I then cropped the image to finish it off and give a neutral look removing the boob tube top from showing through and detracting the effect from the final outcome. 


Abstract expressionism & minimalism

American style

post war abstraction– 

Abstract Expressionism

Franzkline New York 1953

-Expression through line and the large scale of the brush strokes and paintings ( important factor to the movement)

– looks like a structure of some sort and evokes the feelings of looking at structures in America

– The colour scheme is monochromatic and gives us a high contrast


Timescale: mid 1940’s – late 50’s


– During and post world war 2, first nuclear bomb used

– lots of European emigres in NY

– post great depression of 1929-39)

– the cold war 1945-80

– federal arts project 1935-43

  • Main artists: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning, Franz Klein, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Clifford Still, Lee Krazner

-All the artists moved to America from Paris because of the war, just after the american depression. They had the chance to set up their own American movement and create these big paintings to fill the streets and brighten the area, which they were being paid to do in teams rather than individual artists allowing them to exchange ideas to create this new movement. –

Themes and Concerns:

– Existentialism

-Synthesis of styles

– Surrealism- but a rejection of freud

– Jung and the ‘collective unconscious’

– The sublime (overwhelming of the senses like you’re blown away)

– Profound emotion, introspection and universal themes

– Reflects post-war anxiety and trauma

– Interested in myths and archetypal symbols ( things that occur in myths and fiction like a Princess, Prince, Witch, Evil step mum, Horse etc.)

– 2 types of abstract expressionism

  •        Gestural (action) paintings
  •        Colour field painting


Pollock, Summer time 1948

– Large scale

– busy

– Curved lines

– Limited colour Palette

– Abstract

– Flowing

– organic lines


Franz Kline, the chief 1950

– High speed of a train

– movement

– what he remembers as a kid from being and looking out of a train


Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the spanish Republic 54 (1957-61)

– life and death contrast using the black and white


-looks 3D

– The gap at the bottom of the image makes it 3 Dimensional with depth if it wasn’t there it looks more flat


Willem De Kooning, Woman 1 1950-52

– Cluttered

– Filled

– Flat

– Colourful

– Bold

– Thick brush strokes

– Clashing

– Complementary

– Out of proportion

– Motherhood?

– He was exploring the archetypal woman: women look beautiful traditionally in paintings (passive) in art but this one is the opposite in the way he’s made it look ugly and quite terrifying. Representing a pin up girl of the 1950s and rejects the traditional passiveness of women.


Colour Field Painting

Clyfford Still, Indian red and black

– We can only talk about the image in terms of formal elements therefore we can only agree on line, colour, shape etc. this was due to Clyfford’s idea that the painting could look like anything like animal pattern, peeling paint on a wall or anything that it could look like and therefore you are only able to agree that the painting is based on formal elements.


Rothko, Four darks in red 1958

– deep

– one of the most famous abstract expressionism

– been through a lot of paintins before he made this one

– evokes emotion

– big blocks of colour


Rothko, untitled 1969

– Moon landings depiction, a response to the images of the first ever pictures of the moon landings

– If you look at the images and the painting together they look almost the same


Rothko, Mural for End wall (untitled) 1959

-painted for seagram mural restaurant

– He was asked to paint it for the restaurant and got paid to do so. However after he finished the painting he went to the restaurant to check out how it would look in there and after that decided it wouldn’t fit in or look good there and the people that ate there were mainly upper class business men that wouldn’t appreciate the art work he made and therefore decided to give the money back and donate the painting to the tate modern gallery where he new they’d look after it and present his paintings the way he wanted them to be presented.


Abstract Expressionism Review

– 2 types: Gestural and colour field

– A response to post war anxiety and trauma

– painters as heroic

– extentialism

– jung and collective unconscious

– mural size paintins

– communicate surroundings

– importance of crisis

– greenburg and rosenburg



– A response to Abstract Expressionism –


Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII 1966

– Bricks (industrial materials of everyday life- links to constructivism)

– This way of art gets rid of all association to the artist

– It’s equal to but not the same, in this sense the number and mass to the work is the same but the shape is different

– This piece was bought for £60,000

– No expression through him


Timeline: 1960 to mid 1970s

Context and themes:

– reaction against abstraction Expressionism

– influenced by constructivism, De Stijl and Duchamp’s

– Reduction to geometric essentials

– blurs boundries between painting and sculpture

-remove suggestions of self expression

– minimum number of colours, shapes, lines and textures

  • Main artistis: Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Robert Morris


– Intellectual group of people; it was more to do with the idea behind the art –


Robert Morris, untitled 1967/68 Remade

– Industrial felt

– was made so it fell on it’s own weight

– the idea is not the way it’s presented, as how it would of originally made couldn’t be reconstructed to the exact same position


Donald Judd, untitled 1985

– taking the emotion and meaning away by naming it untitled 

-Letting you make your own mind up about the sculpture of how it makes you feel and letting you indulge and evoke this emotion yourself by starring at it rather than having a name pinned to it



  • Minimalism:

– geometric configurations

– Industrial Materials

– Refers to themselves they are objects in their own right

– removal of authorship