The Beauty of Concept
January 18 – April 16, 2017
Plato Sanat, Istanbul
Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt
Curator: Marcus Graf
Assistant Curator: Melike Bayık
The Beauty of Concept is the third and last exhibition in a series that investigates various strategies within three major fields of contemporary art in Turkey at Plato Sanat. After The Power of Form reviewed the situation of abstract art and formalism, The Mystery of Figure reflected the state of figurative art. Now, The Beauty of Concept presents different notions and forms of conceptual art and research based art.
For around 100 years, art constantly increased the importance of thought in the artistic process, so that finally in in the 1960’s, conceptual art freed the artist from the obligation of creating objects. Since then, the development of ideas and their minimal representation became one of the primary goals in the art world. Today, after numerous forms of concept based art occurred, research based art became an important approach for analyzing social as well as political issues within the field of conceptualism. Being close to scientific analysis, and using academic-like methods, the artist often resembles a researcher. Still, the outcome of these long-term investigations are always artworks, and therefore differ from traditional intellectualism and on formal knowledge based theses.
In current conceptual art, aesthetic and formal considerations seem to be of importance. Different from the classic conceptual artist of the 1960’s, for whom aesthetic was a term to overcome in order to destroy the formalist and decorative aspects of art, in today’s understanding, form, media, visuality and aesthetic became parts of a rather eclectic and pluralist notion of conceptual art.
The Beauty of Concept gives attention to this tendency and reveals the power, and beauty of artistic conceptualism and artistic research through the presentation of strong artists who are able to balance aesthetic and thought in order to comment on today’s world. The show proves that visuality matters, and aesthetic can be an important part of the conceptual work. Therefore, within this field, beauty as well as aesthetic are not dead, and they can merge with conceptual frameworks and research based strategies. The Beauty of Concept underlines this in an aesthetically appealing and intellectually challenging way.