Conceptual Art as a Response to Modernism

The essay "Conceptual Art as a Response to Modernism" analyzes conceptual art. Conceptual art was a critique and a pushback against modernism, simply because modernism had a structure and a place in history and theory of art. According to Harrison &amp. Wood, modernist art assumes the relationship between art and language and art and theory. Theoretical art, according to Harrison &amp. Wood is post hoc, in that it builds upon tradition and what has gone before. In this sense, modernist art, while new and a repudiation of traditional art forms, still retained a semblance of previous art forms. The modernists explored the future in their art, and built their concepts on the “new man,” yet, the forms that they explored did not stray to far from traditional art, as they looked for a “different means of expression best suited to each component of his language: line, surface and color”. In other words, artists explored different ideas and different ways of creating art, and different means of expression, yet these explorations occurred within the confines of accepted art forms, such as painting, sculpture and the like. So, it is perhaps ironic that one of the fathers of the conceptual art movement was a man who was associated with modernism, and that was Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp was the first artist who conceptualized everyday items as works of art. Or, rather, he was the first artist who was able to turn everyday items into works of art, simply by stating that these items were something else entirely.