Post-conceptual, postconceptual, post-conceptualism or postconceptualism is an art theory that builds upon the legacy of conceptual art in contemporary art, where the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work takes some precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. The term first came into art school parlance through the influence of John Baldessari at the California Institute of the Arts in the early 1970s. The writer Eldritch Priest, specifically ties John Baldessari's piece Throwing four balls in the air to get a square (best of 36 tries) from 1973 (in which the artist attempted to do just that, photographing the results, and eventually selecting the best out of 36 tries, with 36 being the determining number as that is the standard number of shots on a roll of 35mm film) as an early example of post-conceptual art. It is now often connected to generative art and digital art production.
As art practice
Post-conceptualism as an art practice has also been connected to the work of Robert C. Morgan, specifically his Turkish Bath installation at Artists Space in 1976, and in Morgan's writing in Between Modernism and Conceptual Art: A Critical Response from 1997. It has been connected to the work of Robert Smithson, Mel Bochner, Robert Barry, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Manfred Mohr, Joseph Nechvatal, Lygia Clark, Roy Ascott, Allan McCollum, Harold Cohen, Mary Kelly, Annette Lemieux, Matt Mullican, and the intermedia concept employed in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins.
As specific condition
Conceptual Art focused attention on the idea behind the art object and questioned the traditional role of that object as the conveyor of meaning. Subsequently, those theories cast doubt upon the necessity of materiality itself as conceptual artists "de-materialized" the art object and began to produce time-based and ephemeral artworks. Although total dematerialization of the art object never occurred, the art object became flexible – malleable – and that malleability, coupled with semiotics and computer processing, has resulted in the post-conceptual art object.
As general condition
Conceptual Art at the end of the 20th Century spread to become a general tendency, a resonance within art practice that became nearly ubiquitous. Thus the widespread use of the term “post-conceptual” as a prefix to painting such as that of Gerhard Richter and photography such as that of Andreas Gursky. Benjamin Buchloh in Art After Conceptual Art points out that post-conceptual art is already emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the photo-based appropriation art of Martha Rosler, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman, Peter Nagy, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine and Dara Birnbaum.
British philosopher and theorist of conceptual art Peter Osborne makes the point that "post-conceptual art is not the name for a particular type of art so much as the historical-ontological condition for the production of contemporary art in general...."
Osborne first noted that contemporary art is 'post-conceptual in a public lecture delivered at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Villa Sucota in Como on July 9, 2010. It is a claim made at the level of the ontology of the work of art (rather than say at the descriptive level of style or movement).
- Art software
- Computer art
- Conceptual art
- Electronic art
- Generative art
- Internet art
- Neo-conceptual art
- New Media Art
- Postmodern art
- Systems art
- Virtual art
Notes and references
- Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art: Themes and movements, Phaidon, London, 2002. p. 28
- eldritch Priest, Boring Formless Nonsense: Experimental Music and The Aesthetics of Failure, Bloomsbury Academic, 2013, p. 5
- Peter Osborne, Anywhere Or Not At All : Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso Books, London, 2013. pp. 125-131
- Andreas Broeckmann, "Image, Process, Performance, Machine: Aspects of an Aesthetics of the Machinic", in Oliver Grau (ed.) (2007), Media Art Histories, Cambridge: MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-07279-3CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link), pp. 204-205. Andreas Broeckmann, "Software Art Aesthetics", in David Olivier Lartigaud (ed.) (2008), Art orienté programmation. Paris: Sorbonne University. Inke Arns (2005), "Code as Performative Speech Act", Artnodes, 5, Open University of Catalonia.
- Peter Osborne, Anywhere Or Not At All : Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso Books, London, 2013. pp. 99-116
- Alexander Alberro & Sabeth Buchmann, eds., Art After Conceptual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006, pp. 89–93
- Alexander Alberro & Sabeth Buchmann, eds., Art After Conceptual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006, p. 15
- https://vimeo.com/3908524 "Interview with Joseph Nechvatal, post-conceptual digital artist, composer and art theoretician"
- Alexander Alberro & Sabeth Buchmann, eds., Art After Conceptual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006, p. 87
- Peter Osborne, Anywhere Or Not At All : Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso Books, London, 2013. p. 99
-  Post-Conceptual Art Practice: New Directions
-  Gaiger, Jason (2004). Post conceptual painting: Gerhard Richter's Extended Leave-taking in themes in contemporary art. In: Perry, Gillian and Wood, Paul eds. Themes in Contemporary Art. London: Yale University Press, pp. 89–135
- "One and Three Ideas: Conceptualism Before, During, and After Conceptual Art".
- Alexander Alberro & Sabeth Buchmann, eds., Art After Conceptual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006, p. 16
- Peter Osborne, Anywhere Or Not At All : Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso Books, London, 2013. pp. 3 & 51
- eldritch Priest, Boring Formless Nonsense: Experimental Music and The Aesthetics of Failure, Bloomsbury Academic, 2013
- Robert C. Morgan, Between Modernism and Conceptual Art: A Critical Response, Mcfarland & Co, 1997
- Alexander Alberro & Sabeth Buchmann, eds., Art After Conceptual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006
- Ermanno Migliorini, Conceptual Art, Florence: 1971
- Klaus Honnef, Concept Art, Cologne: Phaidon, 1972
- Ursula Meyer, ed., Conceptual Art, New York: Dutton, 1972
- Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: the Dematerialization of the Art Object From 1966 to 1972. 1973. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
- Gregory Battcock, ed., Idea Art: A Critical Anthology, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973
- Juan Vicente Aliaga & José Miguel G. Cortés, ed., Arte Conceptual Revisado/Conceptual Art Revisited, Valencia: Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 1990
- Thomas Dreher, Konzeptuelle Kunst in Amerika und England zwischen 1963 und 1976 (Thesis Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1992
- Robert C. Morgan, Conceptual Art: An American Perspective, Jefferson, NC/London: McFarland, 1994
- Robert C. Morgan, Art into Ideas: Essays on Conceptual Art, Cambridge et al.: Cambridge University Press, 1996
- Tony Godfrey, Conceptual Art, London: 1998
- Alexander Alberro & Blake Stimson, ed., Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: MIT Press, 1999
- Michael Newman & Jon Bird, ed., Rewriting Conceptual Art, London: Reaktion, 1999
- Anne Rorimer, New Art in the 60s and 70s: Redefining Reality, London: Thames & Hudson, 2001
- Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art (Themes and Movements), Phaidon, 2002 (See also the external links for Robert Smithson)
- Alexander Alberro. Conceptual art and the politics of publicity. MIT Press, 2003.
- Michael Corris, ed., Conceptual Art: Theory, Practice, Myth, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press, 2004
- Daniel Marzona, Conceptual Art, Cologne: Taschen, 2005
- John Roberts, The Intangibilities of Form: Skill and Deskilling in Art After the Readymade, London and New York: Verso Books, 2007
- Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens, Who's afraid of conceptual art?, Abingdon [etc.] : Routledge, 2010. – VIII, 152 p. : ill. ; 20 cm ISBN 0-415-42281-7 hbk : ISBN 978-0-415-42281-9 hbk : ISBN 0-415-42282-5 pbk : ISBN 978-0-415-42282-6 pbk