Conceptuals of Art

“In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work.”

Sol LeWitt "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art", Artforum, June 1967.

Before the onset of “Conceptual Art” ideation had always been a mundane step in the creative process but after this declaration by LeWitt it came to be that the ideation of art had graduated to be synonymous to production. As I considered this idea I interpreted the statement to mean that to plan the ‘art’ was all that was needed for there to be art. That creating art is first and foremost expressed purely in thought and producing an object from the thought is antithesis or a degradation of the product. Much like an algebraic mathematical formula expresses everything one needs to know about the results - resolving is simple iteration.

Within the following section of the portfolio I expose my works that can be best described as “conceptual art” since I have come to the conclusion that at all points in the process of the creation all works art begins and ends in thought.

Because I am a recalcitrant hedonist adherent of this manifesto I add futher that in most cases once hatched, works may become inception in existence while some will remain unhatched.  And so it comes to bare that this section serves two functions. For the guests it will provide a background for my evolving works and it will provide for me something of a memoire of thought through conceptual dreams.

For further elaborations on conceptual art please feel free to read "Preludes to Conceptual Arts", or feel free to research it more on the web. A typical place to start is good ol' wikipedia, or simple move to the art concepts exposed in this section.

Concept of Peripheral Vision Art (1994)

Écrit par Patrick Chevalier. Publié dans Conceptuals of Art


“Peripheral Vision Art” is a Düd Reintjes satirical concept questioning the canons set out by colour field painting as expressed so successfully by artists of the 20th century movement such as Mark Rothko (see White Center -Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose, 1950), Barnet Newman (see Voice of fire, 1967), Frank Stella (Harran II, 1967), and closer to home, Guido Molinari (Sérielle bi-bleu 1967) or Claude Tousignant (Chromatic Accelerator, 1967). Colour field painters strived to represent the purity of painting with their chief concern being to eliminating depth (or the illusion of depth) from the pictorial plane and to place colour as the primordial concern for the pictoral tradition. They acheived primarily with the use of strong primal (usually complimentary colours) and often applied on a large surface in a geometric or sequential pattern.

While searching for a subject matter for a Reintjes “re”-perspective of art I chose to focus on a response to this obsession with colour field depth obliteration in painting. Just like the colour feild painters I tried to explore and apply colour on a picture plane in context with the viewer’s direct objective interaction with the work. “Peripheral Vision Art” would use a ground supporting a unified colour field that attempts to compact the work into one dimension but for “Peripheral Vision Art” to be successful three ancillary criteria were imposed on the work:

  1. that the field effect be miniaturised,
  2. that the viewer be encouraged to look at the piece from their peripheral vision, that is, looking away from and not at the work.
  3. That the viewer should feel incredulity about the thesis

This antithetic approach to colour field would, I surmised, be an impactful satirical and thought provoking series for the exhibit.

It was an absurd theory of course concocted on a subjective exploration of colour in abstract contemporary art but it is important to note contextually that color field was at the time (as it still is) considered to be the pinnacle of contemporary pictorial art. In some sense the terminus of the painting tradition.

What “Peripheral Vision Art” was proposing is that a color field could theoretically be executed in any size. Like a mark on a badly erased blackboard the work could indeed attract the eye and could affect the viewers depth defying perception as much as the large scale works and perhaps do a better job. Its size occupying a fraction of the space could be perceived as monopolizing a larger part of space as it marked the tension between the support and negative space (or empty space) in situ. Click on the diagram included above for a visual survay.

Extant images will demontrate the results of the work and clarify the proposed mechanics and effects of “Peripheral Vision Art.”

For a greater servay of the colour feild painting movement see colour field Painting.

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(*) All "see" references are attibuted to on this site unless stated otherwise.  I am a firm supporter of this project both as a user and donator and so encourage the viewer of this site to also cite and support.

The Nature of Multiplicity (1994) (N.o.M)

Écrit par Patrick Chevalier. Publié dans Conceptuals of Art

The conceptual framework of Nature of Multiplicity (N.o.M) is an offshoot of the body of works named “Peripheral Vision Art” (P.V.A) which I elaborated for a thematic exhibition in sept. of 1994. They share a formal link on account of the size of each element (1 1/8" x 15/16”) but the role for these elements differ dramatically because in N.o.M the main concept is not the individual element but that of the pluralism of the elements which form a single mutable and multi-contextual object.

A nom-concept posterA nom-concept poster

Where the works for the first exhibition were conceived as static art pieces based on a zany art philosophy, the conceptual requirements for N.o.M offer the genuine goal of transmuting the act of creation into that of interpretation through interactivity. The projects inception focuses on the paradoxical meanings that are formed (or that are inherited) between space and the elements that inhabit it. Each created element represent a medium of expression for: form, aesthetic, communication, access, participation and even stake holding.

Each singular element holds inner content and meaning when it is the focal point of observation and it is all the more evident when the element is set singularly and alone in exposition. Conceptually the element and ground are referential but separate, the element the background. But once a second element is placed in exposition “next” to an additional work or content the reference is divided and the context is expanded and so is the context for each element. Both elements form a relationship between each other while each have an inner space; but the outer space becomes more evident as well and so the background begins to split and so does context change depending on each elements position. When even more elements (content) are added more relations and more divisions of space are formed and context becomes more complex and eventually expands into a chaotic mass. This mass should remain comprehensible or readable and is The Nature of Multiplicity.

A nom-concept poster

Imagine there are thousand elements to track and the elements field escape the viewers field of vision it is hoped that the later will be submerged in a visual chaos closely relating to static which hopefully and hopefully will encourage the viewer to interact with the element and reshape it.

A nom-concept poster

It is hoped that N.o.M. will encourage this quest for playfulness, creativity and search for meaning and in of itself, the recorded interaction, yield an even changing stream of creation form its collaborators, first as interpreters keeping the work fluid within an expanding platform but that in turn encourage further creative impulse to manifestations to further the contemplation and manipulation of the whole. 

A nom-concept poster

The concept of the Nature of Multiplicity also then accidentally explores many other perceptual concepts such as the paradoxical relationships inherited between the microcosmic and macrocosmic nature of the world. It is hoped that the expanding polyptych will demonstrate this and a multitude of aesthetic and contextual values that can and will express itself withinin a classical, modern and contemporary art form while the work continues to grows.

As the work is created by a single individual (myself) this interpretation will also be subverted into further interpretation of the multitude as each element removed from the whole compels its audience to participate back to replace the loss of multiplicity.  It is hoped that in the participation there will be inception of thought but also production of new elements that form the whole of N.o.M. with of course some coaxing elements. The blank canvases of N.o.M. 

The future iterations of the inception for N.o.M. will be to ensure and epic critical mass of contributions to the work in order to create a truer expression of meaning into the work and in some sense create a communal work that exchanges with its world. The life of the work will be determined by the response and participation to the works inherent message in the long term, which is that N.o.M. is a participative creative work of art meant to live of its successive loss of cohesion and regeneration of through the exchange of its own elemental body. Making N.o.M. a living work of art.

Contributions to Düd Reintjes (1993)

Écrit par Patrick Chevalier. Publié dans Conceptuals of Art

A reintjes poster

The collected works of Düd Reintjes was brought about through a collaborative and corroborative group exercise examining and assimilating contemporary art fundamentals and reappraising them anew through art works of displaying appreciative scepticism. In other words Reintjes was an instrument for me and my fellow contemporaries Erich Entner, Allan Sutt, Sean Lang, Hri Neil, Allie (-----), Malinda (-----) and others* to express our dissatisfaction with, our reaction to, and in some cases a rejection of some of the co-opted reasonings that were put in place and to justify contemporary art and art culture.

In the beginning of the 90s I was one of many studying fine arts who found the messages and the form of contemporary art to be out of touch with reality. It was analogous to learning a completely alien language. A language promoting hermetic intellectual values leaving one feeling patronising rather than enriched. It seemed for a time that in the enthusiasm to promote contemporary art values educators and the surrounding art milieu appeared distant and disconnected forcing us to question what art was rather than simply learning the techniques in producing it.

Art suddenly could no longer be viewed as an object to behold and to be appraised for itself but rather it required explanation, cross-reference, reinterpretations and sometimes a completely new vocabulary. In other cases art seemed almost like a vestige of some poorly expressed idea, misshapen and dropped before you like it had fallen off a truck.  A chunk of information isolated from context. For the most part it seemed to me that art was imploding onto itself and to my distress this is how I came to understand that it was in fact the language and the nature of the contemporary art scene; what made it ‘new’.