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Nadine Gallagher

Students doubt on conceptual art Conceptual art is very much fearful in the modern art industry, the fear of judgement, the fear of change. We are afraid of doing conceptual work because it forces us to change ideas and to make space for unfamiliar aspects of our experience. We, as students, are pushed to have meaning in our work and avoid going for the aesthetic ,A lot of conceptual art sets itself resolutely against the aesthetic, it revels in being non -aesthetic. It goes against the idea that art must be pleasing to the eye. It is not about the expensive materials used, it is about exploring the new.

 As of what I thought, students feel apprehensive about conceptual art in college due to its departure from traditional artistic forms. Conceptual art challenges the usual understanding of art by prioritizing ideas and concepts over technical skills like drawing and sculpting. This shift can be uncomfortable for students who are accustomed to more tangible forms of expression. The abstract and often unconventional nature of conceptual art can be unfamiliar, as it requires the viewer to engage with the artwork on a deeper intellectual level rather than simply appreciating its aesthetic qualities. One of the reasons students may fear conceptual art is its open-endedness. Unlike more traditional art forms with clear techniques and guidelines, leaving students feeling afraid of the possibilities. The absence of concrete rules can both liberating and daunting, as students grapple with the challenge of defining their own artistic parameters and navigating the whole landscape of conceptual art. The emphasis on meaning and concept in conceptual art can be intimidating for students. Creating art that conveys a profound message or idea requires thought process and intellectual engagement that can be daunting, especially for students who are still developing their artistic voices. The pressure to produce work that is not visually engaging but also intellectually stimulating can create a sense of anxiety and self-doubt among students exploring the realm of conceptual art. In addition, the critical discourse surrounding conceptual art can also contribute to students, apprehension. The art world's focus on conceptual art as a platform for intellectual exploration and social commentary can set a high bar for students seeking to engage with these ideas in their own work. The expectation to produce art that is thought provoking and socially relevant can be overwhelming, leading students to feel inadequate or insecure about their own artistic abilities. The lectures often encourage students in art colleges to explore conceptual art in college because it challenges them to think critically, push boundaries, and express deeper meanings through their work. By studying contemporary art and engaging with conceptual art, students can develop their own creativity, analytical thinking, and ability to communicate complex ideas visually. It forces us art students to explore our own perspectives, challenge norms, and create art that goes beyond the surface level, giving the students and the viewer a meangingful experience.

There are many artists that use conceptual art in their work, examples of this are artists from the Russian avant-garde. The Russian avant-garde emerged in1890 and 1930, when the Russian Empire was in collapse and the Soviet Union was on the rise. Creativity and originality held sway over the Russian intelligentsia. This when abstract creative was extremely popular with the Russian artists, an artist example of this was Kazimir Malervich,  he was a representational artist, in his work he experimented with cubism and futurism, he invented suprematism through his paintings and would show a non-representational visual style. The first painting called supemus below is open viewer to judge.


Kazimir Malevich "Supemus" No 58 1916, oil on canvas

This painting is about letting go of all materialism, but to the art world it created a total abstract and the development of constructivism. The colour red in the painting is the most active and the colour white is the most passive. He believed that these two colours represented all colour. The use of the square was introduced by Malevich in 1913 as a stage curtain for Russian futurist. The design reflected the synthesis of Russian and Western European art in the reflection of World War 1. In this painting, the focus is on geometric form and pure abstraction Suprematism is exemplified in the painterly realism of a peasant woman in two dimensions. Malevich, who was primarily interested in form and purity of shape, especially the square, suprematism as both an investigation into visual language and a development in theological understanding.


Kzimir Malevich "Red square", 1915, oil on canvas.

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