Information Show – Matt Niebuhr

Information Show - drawings by Matt Niebuhr

Notes concerning an “Information Show”

“In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all planning and decisions are made beforehand. The execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.” – Sol Le Witt –  Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, by Sol Le Witt – Artforum (June, 1967).

This collection of drawings is evidence of my explorations of a question concerning conceptual art that the idea or concept is the fundamental experiential element of a work of art.

Ideas are, strictly speaking, intangible. They exist as a mental construct and have no form. In this sense, ideas do not take up space. Ideas and concepts float only in the space of the imagination or “mind’s eye”.

Ideas can be made tangible in a number of ways. These drawings are examples of an idea for a work of art. When ideas are translated into another medium the intangible is made tangible. The idea is described through execution, a translation from the “minds eye”.

Some of the ideas executed in the exhibit are not my ideas. Some are. To me it makes no difference.

Only when the idea is translated into a physical form can it be shared. Whether an idea is spoken, sung, written, or drawn, it is only in this translation where the idea can be exchanged in some way with another person. The intangible is made tangible. The idea can be apprehended by another person.

Execution of an idea is not a perfunctory affair.

How it is made, why it is made, what it is made of – and then making (process)are essential questions and actions that must be decided upon. Each decision has a profound effect upon the execution and ultimately the form that expresses the idea. Means and methods influence the perception of the idea immensely.

“… while objects may be perishable, ideas need not be…” – Sol Le Witt.

Ideas in art (and life) are potentially useful but have little value until acted upon.

Objects in art are quite useless, but of great potential value.


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