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Installation Art Collage

Installation Art

Started: 1970s

Installation Art Timeline

Quotes

"The main actor in the total installation, the main center toward which everything is addressed, for which everything is intended, is the viewer."
Ilya Kabakov
"The work itself has a complete circle of meaning and counterpoint. And without your involvement as a viewer, there is no story."
Anish Kapoor
"Just as the development of Earth art and Installation art stemmed from the idea of taking art out of the galleries, the basis of my involvement with public art is a continuation of wall drawings."
Sol LeWitt
"I like to take man-made objects and push them to the point where they almost lose their reference, so that they become something else, take on other alliances."
Cornelia Parker
"Aesthetic autonomy and the public sphere in Installation art are, in fact, inseparable."
Tom Holert
"I didn't want a completely passive viewer. Art means too much to me. To be able to articulate something visually is really an important thing. I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn't walk away; he would giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful."
Kara Walker

KEY ARTISTS

Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp
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Judy ChicagoJudy Chicago
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Damien HirstDamien Hirst
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Sol LeWittSol LeWitt
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Nam June PaikNam June Paik
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Tracey EminTracey Emin
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"The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible."

Allan Kaprow Signature

Synopsis

Installation art is a term generally used to describe artwork located in three-dimensional interior space as the word "install" means putting something inside of something else. It is often site-specific - designed to have a particular relationship, whether temporary or permanent, with its spatial environment on an architectural, conceptual, or social level. It also creates a high level of intimacy between itself and the viewer as it exists not as a precious object to be merely looked at but as a presence within the overall context of its container whether that is a building, museum, or designated room. Artworks are meant to evoke a mood or a feeling, and as such ask for a commitment from the viewer. The movement remains separate from its similar forms such as Land art, Intervention art, and Public art yet there are often overlaps between them. The ideas behind a piece of Installation art, and the responses it elicits, tend to be more important than the quality of its medium or technical merit. Artists champion this genre for its potential to transform the art world by surprising audiences and engaging viewers in new ways.

Key Ideas

Installation art champions a shift in focus from what art visually represents to what it communicates. Installation artists are less focused on presenting an aesthetically pleasing object to viewers as they are enfolding that viewer into an environment or set of systems of their own creation. Tweaking the subjective perception of the viewer is the artist's desired outcome. Pieces belonging to this movement resonate with our own human experiences - like us they exist within, and are always in conversation with, their lived environments.
Installation artists are preoccupied with making art a less isolated concept - by installing work beyond the galleries and museums and by using more utilitarian components such as found objects, industrial and everyday items, commonplace materials, and technologies of the populous. This movement has broadened the scope of what qualifies as artwork.
Because Installation art is especially difficult to collect and sell, this movement pushes against the commodification of art, thereby defying the traditional mechanisms used to determine the value of artworks.
Attempts to sell installations have raised questions about the process of dismantling and reinstalling work that was conceived for a particular location, and how that might or might not decrease the original meaning and value. It has also provoked dialogue within the art and archival communities about whether or not a temporary piece might be reconstructed and sold in the guise of its original, or whether a non-permanent piece may be recreated ad infinitum to perpetuate its existence.

Beginnings

Installation Art Image

Early Influences

Installation art did not arise from a particular collective impetus, or an organized intention. Rather, it arose organically from a lineage of conceptual, theatrical, site, and time specific ventures by various artists from within multiple movements. Installation art's roots are often traced back to the great Conceptual artists like Marcel Duchamp, the first to place a mundane toilet seat into the "fine art" setting in all of its literal plainness, to be considered in an out-of-context setting. Duchamp's "readymades" thus became precursors to this genre alongside other early influencers like the avant-garde Dadaists, who were the first Conceptual artists who chose to focus on making works that generated questions rather than crafting aesthetically pleasing objects. German artist Kurt Schwitters with his anti-commerce Merz objects-from-everyday-life collages and El Lissitzky with his Proun paintings that were a radical re-conception of space and material expressed early Installation art concerns along with notes of Spatialism - a movement that championed a synthesis of sound, sight, space, motion, and time into new forms of art. All of these prior efforts alongside inspiration from the theater - specifically seen in Performance art legends such as the Gutai group from Japan, who staged large-scale multimedia environments, coalesced into the birth of Installation art.

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Installation Art Overview Continues

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Alicia López

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Alicia López
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols
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