The experimental practices broadly referred to as conceptual art are among the most enigmatic and compelling of our recent art history. Employing film and video, language and poetry, performance and bodily gesture, conceptual artists emphasised idea and experience over fixed material form. In doing so, they radically transformed the nature of art in the 1960s and 1970s.
Writing from the thick of its development in 1968, critics Lucy Lippard and John Chandler observed 'a profound dematerialisation of art' that they believed could result in the object 'becoming wholly obsolete'. With this in mind, Power & Imagination gathers together works of art poised at the junctures of dematerialisation, transformation, appearance and disappearance.
Informed by imaginative acts, archaic and alternate models of thought, the assembled works resonate with the artist Sol LeWitt's belief that 'irrational judgements lead to new experience', and that 'conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists' as 'they leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach'.