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Important exponents of Conceptualism include Sol Le Witt, Joseph Beuys, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Eva Hesse, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Jean Tinguely and Lawrence Weiner.Other artists associated with the movement include Mel Bochner, Hanne Darboven, Agnes Denes, Jan Dibbets, Hans Haacke, On Kawara and Les Levine.In addition, please note that one of the most important differences between modern and postmodern art, concerns the downgrading of the "finished product".The aim of nearly all modern artists, for instance, was to create an enduring and unique work of art like a painting, sculpture, drawing, or other type of object.Revealingly, over the past 20 years, the Turner Prize for Contemporary Art has been won by 2 painters, 0 sculptors, and 10 installation artists. It started out by depicting a more up-to-date reality, using images of film-stars and other celebrities, as well as mass-made consumer goods.But this was rapidly eclipsed by an increasing post-modern focus on impact and style.That is to say, the 'idea' which a work represents is considered its essential component, and the "finished product", if it exists at all, is regarded essentially as a form of documentation rather than as an artifact.
Another innovative artist is the Korean-American Nam June Paik (1932-2006), who began in performance art before working with televisions and video, and thereafter installations.It was associated with artists like Robert Indiana (b.1928), Jasper Johns (b.1930), On Kawara (1932-2014), Barbara Kruger (b.1945) and Christopher Wool (b.1955).Conceptual art is a postmodernist art movement founded on the principle that art is a 'concept' rather than a material object.It has been suggested that this has the characteristics of a Conceptual artwork, because walking past the huge pile of shoes helps us to comprehend the terrifying reality of the gas chambers.Indeed it does, but frankly it doesn't turn the shoes into a work of art, or indeed any type of artistic statement.
Conceptual art has the ability to deliver ideas quite powerfully, hence it has served as a popular vehicle for socio-political comment.