Today I’m going outside of my comfortable territory. I really want to foster an appreciation for multiple genres of art within myself. So, I’d like to discuss conceptual art and artist I conveniently found on Wikipedia after accidentally looking up Duchamp (who is the guy who signed the urinal, if you’re familiar with that particular story.).
As far as I can tell from reading Wikipedia (and I’m hungry and confused, I should really eat some lunch) Conceptual art is really rebellious. I don’t want to say something like “realistic portraiture is too mainstream.” I mean more of a “everything is BS, let’s see how far we can take this.” Which I appreciate. In a culture that values fame and money, it is fascinating to see people simultaneously break down what makes art art AND sell some fairly ridiculous things to rich people (like a signed urinal).
But to my point, I picked Annette Lemieux. Who was listed on the Conceptual Art page in Wikipedia. But Wikipedia lists Picture Theory as the art scene/era (I don’t know, I’m only slooooooooowly educating myself).
So I looked up Picture Theory. I have spoken English my entire life but had to look up what the word proposition meant because (even though I totally know what it is!) the context was super unhelpful and didn’t make sense with the definition I know. I think the idea was basically to use pictures to represent (suggest? I think that’s the proposition link?) concepts. To have pictures speak for themselves.
I could be totally wrong and would love to be corrected. Also, if corrected, please act like I know nothing and should be talked to slowly and with small words.
My basic understanding of her work is that she takes objects and creates an environment that has a distinct meaning. I think I remember an important art word: juxtaposition (when things are placed side by side for comparison…like a giant baby next to a miniature man).
This is called Things to Walk Away With (what a heavy title! I love it!) ( and according to the site I found it on, it is copyrighted to Kent Fine Art, New York © Courtesy of the Artist and Fisher Landau Center for Art. Citation isn’t something I’m great at. Also, I really want artists to get their credit and proper due, but am also in debt and cannot really afford to buy awesome art right now. Someday.
Just look and ponder and think. Why are these objects together? Why are you walking away with them? Just be silent, let your brain think. I don’t want to put thoughts in your head.
That’s something I love about art. Which is also why it’s hard to go to art museums with people who just don’t get it. You have to slow down. You have to shut up. You have to think. And that is so beautiful in a world that is so fast.
She also has a series called The Strange Life of Objects (which could also be a book).
I mean, look at that. There’s so much story in that concrete. People tend to say things like “ugh, I could do that.” Which honestly, had really scared me away from conceptual art.
But here’s the thing. You didn’t do that. I didn’t do that. Also, it’s very impressive to take something simple and create a huge emotional impact.
Kudos, Annette Lemieux.