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ARTH209: 20th Century Art

Unit 10: Conceptual, Installation, and Land Art   Conceptual, Installation, and Land Art all strove to go beyond the traditional categories of painting and sculpture. Conceptual Art, as the name implies, privileged the idea or conception of a work over the execution of a beautiful object. The emphasis was placed on intellectual activity rather than aesthetic enjoyment. Many Conceptual works incorporate language or mathematical constructs in works often made from nonartistic materials. Installation art subverted the categories of painting and sculpture by creating large-scale works that transform the viewers’ perception of a specific site or space. These works may include any combination of artistic and nonartistic materials and processes. The artists associated with Land Art, also known as Earth Art, abandoned their studio spaces and began to work outdoors. These artists used the earth itself—dirt, rocks, bodies of water, and weather—to create often monumental works that are subject to the depredations of time and climate.
 
As you work through the material in the unit, consider these questions: How do these works relate to the spaces in which they are presented? How do they affect the relationship between the work of art and the viewer? How do they redefine the function of art and the role of the artist?

Unit 10 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 8 hours.

☐   Subunit 10.1: 2.5 hours

☐   Subunit 10.2: 2 hours

☐   Subunit 10.3: 3.5 hours

Unit10 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - describe and identify the visual elements and technical processes involved in Conceptual, Installation, and Land Art; - identify the key contributions of specific artists to the development of Conceptual, Installation, and Land Art; and - explain how Conceptual, Installation, and Land Art works relate to the space in which they are presented, how they affect the relationship between the work of art and the viewer, and how they redefine the function of art and the role of the artist.

10.1 Conceptual Art   - Reading: The Art Story: “Conceptual Art” Link: The Art Story: “Conceptual Art” (HTML)
 
Instructions: First, read over this page as an introduction to conceptual Art. Then, click on each of the images under “Groundbreaking Works” at the top of the page and read the accompanying text. Finally, click on “Detail View” under Sol LeWitt on the right side of the page and read about this artist who played a leading role in the Conceptual movement. Under “Artist Biography,” be sure to click on “More” to read this text.
 
Reading this material should take approximately 2 hours.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: ddooss.org: Sol LeWitt’s “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” Link: ddooss.org: Sol LeWitt’s “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the sections titled “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” and “Sentences on Conceptual Art” by Sol LeWitt, one of the major theorists of this movement. What are the qualities that LeWitt values in Conceptual Art?
     
    Reading this material and answering the questions should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation: Nancy Spector’s “Joseph Kosuth Link: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation: Nancy Spector’s “Joseph Kosuth” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay. Note Joseph Kosuth’s interest in investigating the cultural meanings that we ascribe to categories such as “painting” or “art.”
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

10.2 Installation Art   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Installation Art” Link: Wikipedia: “Installation Art” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article as a summary of installation art.

 Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
  • Reading: Goethe Institute: Nicole Fritz’s “Dossier: Site-specific Installations in Germany” Link: Goethe Institute: Nicole Fritz’s “Dossier: Site-specific Installations in Germany” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article, in which the author discusses the various meanings of installation works of art.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage: “Preservation and Presentation of Installation Art” Link: Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage: “Preservation and Presentation of Installation Art” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the introduction after “Welcome,” and then click on “artworks” from the menu at the top of the webpage for a list of artists and artworks. Click on and read about the following works: Disappearance at Sea by Tacita Dean, Doppelgarage by Thomas Hirschhorn, Glass (one and three) by Joseph Kosuth, and Mapping the Studio II by Bruce Nauman. Each installation is accompanied by a photo and a brief annotation. Many of the pages contain links on the left side to additional information about the artist and the art works if you would like to learn more.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 45 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Ann Hamilton Studio: “Projects” Link: Ann Hamilton Studio: “Projects” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this page for an introduction to Ann Hamilton’s ideas and working methods. Then click on “1991 indigo blue” from the menu on the left to read about this installation in detail and to see more images. Consider how Hamilton’s works relate to their specific sites and how they engage all of the senses. The “Projects” page contains links to Hamilton’s biography and additional works that you may wish to explore; please note that these additional links are optional and are not included in the Time Advisory for this unit.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

10.3 Land Art   - Web Media: YouTube: LXTV: “The Artists Behind the Gates in New York” Link: YouTube: LXTV: “The Artists Behind the Gates in New York” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the interview with the artists, in which they explain the path they took to arrive at the idea of wrapping buildings and changing the appearance of cities and natural sites. Two artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, developed a unique approach to shaping the environment.
 
Watching this interview should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Wikipedia: “Land Art” Link: Wikipedia: “Land Art” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this article as a summary of land art.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. It is attributed to Wikipedia and the original version can be found here.

  • Reading: DaringDesigns.com: “Monumental Land Art” Link: DaringDesigns.com: “Monumental Land Art” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: This page contains information about the major land art works, with a brief description and link to the satellite image as well as links to official sites. Read the introductory information on the webpage, then read the descriptions for each work, and then click on the “Satellite Image” hyperlink to gain an understanding of the scale of these sites. 
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Robert Smithson: “Introduction” Link: Robert Smithson: “Introduction” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this page; then click on “Earthworks” from the menu at the top of the page; then click on “Spiral Jetty” to see additional images of this iconic work.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Art Newspaper: Helen Stoilas’s “Land Art: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?” Link: The Art Newspaper: Helen Stoilas’s “Land Art: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the article about the issues associated with land art projects, including preservation difficulties.
     
    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: National Gallery of Art: “Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection” Link: National Gallery of Art: “Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the Introduction, and then click on each of the images at the right side of the page to read detailed descriptions of each of these works. As you read, think about how the artists’ projects relate to their sites and to their social and historical circumstances.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 10 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 10 Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Complete this assessment to gauge your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.

    Completing the quiz and reviewing, if necessary, should take you approximately 30 minutes.