…erlin 20 January – 14 May 2017
by KRISTIAN VISTRUP MADSEN
Clearly, not all art is conceptual, although, if pressed to designate the limits of conceptual art, the boundaries become blurred. Practically speaking, all art since modernism comes with a story or an explanation, which, depending on how far the work strays into illegibility, could be called a “concept”. The difference is that, where modernism to a certain extent became the reason for criticism, conceptual art, as Joseph Kosuth, once said, “annexes the functions of the critic, and makes a middleman unnecessary”. Conceptual art was born in the 1960s, with artists such as Kosuth at its centre, in a muddle of similar yet contradictory movements.
The distinction of conceptual art hinges on its rejection of materials; it is an art of the mind, not the senses. But its demarcations were never quite clear. Yves Klein’s blue canvases, for example, are new realist in the French sense – not dep…