What is conceptualism? It is a synthesis of rationalism with empiricism

do you Know what is conceptualism? This is one of the areas of scholastic philosophy. According to this doctrine, the manifestation of knowledge only comes with experience, however, does not come from experience. Conceptualism can also be represented as a synthesis of rationalism with empiricism. The term comes from the Latin word conceptus, which means a thought, a concept. Despite the fact that it philosophical stream it is also a cultural direction that emerged in the 20th century.

Representatives of conceptualism

Pierre Abelard, John Duns Cattle and Salisbury, John Duns, John Locke - all of these philosophers brings together conceptualism. Those philosophers who believe that ideas that are common to all, manifest during the experience by the individual. That is until we are faced with a particular phenomenon, we do not understand the essence of a particular human problems. For example, until we felt the injustice, we will not understand the very essence of justice. By the way, this theory is widespread and in a creative environment - conceptualism in the arts, particularly in painting. The brightest representative among artists is Joseph Kosuth, and among musicians – Henry flint.

Conceptual art

Joseph Kosuth explained the significance of this theory in a complete rethinking of the functioning of works of art and culture in General. He argued that art is a powerful idea, but in any case not material. His song “One man and three chairs", from which he graduated in 1965, became a classic example of conceptualism. Conceptualism in painting refers not to spiritual-emotional perception of what is depicted, and to comprehend what he saw through the intellect. In conceptual art the concept of art, whether it be a painting or a book, or musical work, is more important than its physical expression. This means that the main purpose of art consists in the transmission of thoughts, ideas. By the way, the conceptual objects may be more modern works, for example, photographs, video or audio materials, etc.

Conceptualism in painting

As already noted, one of the ideological representatives of this current is the artist Marcel Duchamp (France). He had long prepared “ground” for the conceptualists, creating ready-mades. The most famous of them was created by the artist in 1917, the “Fountain”-a urinal. By the way, it was presented at the exhibition organized for independent artists in new York. What wanted to show his work, Duchamp? Urinal - a common object used in sanitary-and-hygienic purposes. If it is made at the factory, he naturally can not be considered a work of art. However, if its creation involved a Creator, a painter, a urinal ceases to be ordinary household items, because it's unique, has aesthetic qualities and for its creation were used the idea. In short, conceptualism – a triumph of ideas over emotions. This makes valuable a work.

Russian conceptualism

This is a philosophical and artistic movement also took place in Russia, particularly in Moscow. It began in the unofficial art of the Soviet Union in the early 70-ies of the last century. However, the term Moscow conceptualism arose later, in 1979, with a light hand Boris Groys, published in the journal “A to z" article entitled “Moscow Romantic conceptualism”. It has two branches: literaturotsentrichna and analysis.

Examples of conceptual art

the First significant work in this direction is exhibited in 1953, is the work of Robert Rauschenberg "Erased picture of Kuenga”. Admit it, a strange name for an art sample. Moreover, the question arises: who is the author of this piece – Rauschenberg or kwing? The thing is that after some time after creating this picture Willem de Kooning-om Robert Milton Ernest Rauschenberg erased it and presented for their work. The gist of his action was dictated by a desire to challenge the idea of traditional art. He was a supporter of the ready-made – conceptual currents in art, whereby no matter who is the original author, the end result is important, that is the idea, which is embedded in his creation. The most obvious example of the ready-made collages are assembled from fragments of different works. Another representative of the current Yves Klein was the author of "Aerostatic sculpture of Paris". For this he needed 1001 balloons, and placed them in the sky over Paris. This was done to show advertising on Le Wide.


so, the founder of this movement is considered to be Marcel Duchamp. He proposed the definition that art is important, not the subject but the idea. Not end result is important, its aesthetics, and importantly, who is the author and what was the meaning of his ideas. In short, conceptualism – it is a period in art, literature, music, art in General, in which the work is by and large incomprehensible to the viewer, reader, listener, or they are each special.