What Is Installation Art and What Isn’t

What Is Installation Art and What Isn’t

Like many movements, styles, and influences that make up modern and contemporary art, installation art is mostly rooted in conceptualism and transformation. Although comparable to sculpture and related to a variety of other artistic genres, this immersive practice offers a unique way to experience art. To grasp the meaning of such a movement, it is important to understand what makes it so particular, from its distinctive qualities to its technical characteristics.

So today, we’ll be going over this avant-garde movement, paying particular attention to its particularities, how it engages audiences and produces such impactful experiences.

What is Installation Art

In the contemporary world, where so many different art forms have been born, developed, explored and even forgotten over time, almost no other manifestation of art has been so instantly mesmerizing as installation art.

Influences and Origins

The origins of installation art are usually related to Conceptual art. Following the steps of artists like Marcel Duchamp and his innovative approach of presenting his readymades. Other noticeable influences that are considered to have paved the way for the development of installation art as we know it today include the Dada movement (Dadaism), particularly several works and assemblage art which notably filled entire rooms, theories of Spatialism, and even some pieces by John Cage.

Before being called installation art, this art movement was originally referred to as the environment. After Allan Kaprow, an American artist who introduced the concept of “happenings”, – a form of spontaneous, non-linear action, that revolutionized the practice of Performance Art. However, it wasn’t until the ’70s that the term Installation Art began to be applied in defining works that take into account the viewer’s entire sensory experience or that fill out an entire space.

Main Qualities

Installation artworks, – either permanent or temporary, are usually created to be exhibited in venues like museums and galleries, or public or private spaces. Installation art by itself can be such an ambiguous concept that it cannot be narrowed down to specificity. Due to the latest technological developments and enhancements, this art form allows the merging between video, sound, immersive virtual reality environments, the internet and performance with traditional media and other conventional resources used in fine arts practices. From natural to man-made materials, installation art allows full creative freedom over any artist’s work.

Furthermore, site-specific installations are produced to exist and “function” at the location for which they were commissioned, making these sensory projects often part of the surroundings. Other artworks can be relocated and displayed in different places, not depending on their environment. This sensory engaging art practice completely blurs the line between art and life.

Characteristics of Installation Art


If not the most significant, it’s certainly an important aspect to have in consideration: installation art’s ability to physically interact with an audience. While some artistic mediums and outlets are capable of creating some sort of engagement and interactivity, installation art creates entirely immersive experiences that encourage dialogues between individuals and works of art. This single characteristic invites audiences to interact with artworks from multiple viewpoints.


Given its interactive nature, most installation artworks are big in scale. Their sizable structures facilitate observers to become completely immersed in each larger-than-life environment. In several cases, it even allows them to sit, stand, rest or walk through it, — a distinctive ability not usually seen in other “classic” art forms.

Site Specific

Unlike sculptures, paintings, and other traditional art pieces, installations are usually designed with specific places and purposes in mind. From gallery rooms to outdoor spaces, the strategic nature of installation art designs and the uniqueness of their surroundings, site-specific works of art ensure a one-of-a-kind aesthetic and experience.

The difference between Sculpture and Installation Art

There’s a common misunderstanding and a general questioning about the difference between Sculpture and Installation Art. As much as some installation artworks may resemble traditional, hand-made sculptures, it doesn’t mean both these art forms can be put under the same category.

So, a sculpture is essentially something that you make out of specific materials, such as wood, metal or stone. You “sculpt” the material by changing its shape, by carving, assembling or casting and modelling. An installation is basically a display. It may or may not include sculpture; it’s usually created from different media. You can create an installation without “making” anything, just by arranging different objects.

Sculptures can be freestanding and self-supported, allowing the viewer to walk completely around the work to see it from every perspectivewhere the primary form’s surface is raised above the surrounding material, like the image carved on a coin.

Also, Installation Art can effectively deconstruct some traditional principles and concepts of sculpture. This happens whenever an artwork is created to be seen from the outside, from the inside or to be experienced as a self-contained composition of different elements.

On the other hand, installation pieces usually embrace and enclose an audience in the surroundings of the artwork. Besides, installation art is created with the intention of focusing on the viewer. Individuals almost become the main subject of the artwork, taking into consideration the spectator’s engagement and interaction with the art piece.

The formalism of the work essentially slips into the background, bringing the impact of the viewer’s spatial and cultural expectation to a focal point. The multi-sensory designed installation, creates an ongoing conversation with its surroundings, waiting for the spectator to take in both the creation and its environment as an overall immersive display.

5 Different Types of Installation Art

From pill packets and crumpled trash bags to mirrored rooms and giant mushrooms, installation art has given some of the boldest and boundary-pushing masterpieces of all time. Installation art has grown to be one of the most widespread forms of contemporary art practice, with artists adopting ever more adventurous and playful ways of transforming the way we experience art.

Allan Kaprow, Yard, 1961

American artist Allan Kaprow’s Yard, filled the outdoor yard of Martha Jackson’s Gallery with black rubber tires and tarpaper-wrapped forms before encouraging participants to climb, jump and play in this monstrous playground. This iconic installation art opened up new sensorial experiences for visitors and allowed them to engage with art like never before. As well as exploring abstract ideas around solids and voids in space, Kaprow was a pioneer in bringing improvisation and group participation into art, “Life is much more interesting than art. The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible.”

Damien Hirst, Pharmacy, 1992

Created to mirror the cold, hospital-like atmosphere of an old-fashioned pharmacy, Hirst’s Pharmacy, includes a large collection of tablet packagings, medicine bottles and other medical objects in a harsh fluorescent white made-up environment. This iconic installation highlights the modern-day obsession with medication as a way to extend life expectancy without us having to question it. Hirst explained, “We all die, so this kind of big happy, smiling, minimal, colourful, confident facade that medicine and drug companies put up is not flawless – your body lets you down, but people want to believe in some kind of immortality.”

Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, 2003

Olafur Eliasson created The Weather Project, in 2003 for Tate Modern. He intended to replicate the effect of an enormous sun rising through a fine mist. Low-frequency lamps around his artificial sun allowed only the golden glow of the sun to dominate the space, reducing all surrounding colours to the magical shades of gold and black. Master of illusion and installation art, Eliasson designed the glowing orb from a semi-circle of light which is reflected by mirrored panels on the ceiling. These mirrored panels stretched over the whole ceiling, enabling visitors to see themselves reflected as if floating in the sky above them, creating the sensation of hovering weightlessly in space.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013

The Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, is one of various immersive ‘Infinity Rooms’ which have peaked the interest of thousands of gallery-goers around the globe. Designed by placing mirrored panels throughout the walls, ceiling, and floors of a small, confined space, Kusama later fills it with tiny fibres of coloured lights and reflective objects around the room to create the effect of endless, infinite space. Just like entering a star-filled universe or merging into a digital superhighway, there’s truly nothing like the experience of going to an Infinity Room. 

Random International, Rain Room, 2013

Random International’s well-known installation artwork Rain Room, very much concisely unites art and technology into one. Visitants pass through a gushing torrent of rainwater but almost miraculously remain dry, as sensors detect their movement and cause the rain to stop around them. This deceptively simple idea from the London-based art collective embraces a natural symbiosis between art and the spectator as the installation only comes alive through physical interaction. 


  • Like many movements, styles, and influences that make up modern and contemporary art, installation art is mostly rooted in conceptualism, dadaism, spatialism and performance art.
  • Installation artworks, – either permanent or temporary, are usually created to be exhibited in venues like museums and galleries, or public or private spaces.
  • Installation art creates entirely immersive experiences that encourage dialogues between individuals and works of art.
  • Given its interactive nature, most installation artworks are big in scale.
  • Installations are usually designed with specific places and purposes in mind.
  • A sculpture is essentially something that you make out of specific materials, such as wood, metal or stone. An installation is basically an arranged display that can include a variety of different mediums and art practices.
  • Installation art has grown to be one of the most widespread forms of contemporary art practice, with artists adopting ever more adventurous and playful ways of transforming the way we experience art.

Career Path: How to Work in an Art Gallery

Getting into the Art market can be quite complicated, especially for those who don’t know much about this industry’s practicalities. Having a degree in Art History, Curation or Literature is great – yes, – but, the reality behind working at an art gallery is rather complex, in the least.

So, without further a due, in today’s article, we are going to give you some tips on how to begin a career in the other side of the Art World: art galleries and the role of a gallery assistant.

What qualifications do you need to work in an art gallery?

Just One Memory

Most people who work in an art gallery have a degree in Art History or Art Business. However, there is no need to have a specific degree in those two study fields to work in one. Nowadays art galleries need people skilled in other areas too. With the rise of social media, art galleries are seeking individuals and even experts who know how to work around all these new digital platforms, such as Youtube or Instagram.
The perfect artwork pictures that you might see in art galleries’ Instagrams, were probably photographed by a professional photographer… And that really well-written post on Facebook or Twitter? Yeah, that was probably written by a copywriter.

Have in mind that, although we’re talking about art, art galleries are just as much as a business as any other, and, as a business, it needs sales and marketing experts. The biggest art galleries out there have really well-organised sales teams who follow very strict plans.

What types of art gallery positions are there?

Currently, in our developed society, the usual art assistant position is a bit outdated. It still exists but it requires more skills than ever. Galleries that want to keep relevant in the market have a really complex structure and different types of teams. Of course, if we look at a small art gallery, probably it will only be its owner and an assistant. However, majority of art galleries nowadays, even if on outsource, have a public relations person, a professional photographer and video editor, a copywriter, a salesperson, a manager, one or two curators and of course assistants.

What types of skills do you need at an art gallery?

Zahra Shahcheraghi – Harem & Iran’s Vingin Youngsters

If you want to be an art assistant at an art gallery, usually you need to – at least, have some knowledge about the art market and have some art history notions. Even tho you don’t need to have a degree on this in to get there. Key institutions like Sotheby’s and Christie’s offer intensive short courses that are accessible and of course, you can always learn from other less expensive resources like art textbooks or through legitimate art channels. You can also learn a lot by visiting art galleries, museums and other spaces that promote art and engaging in conversations with the knowledgable people that work there.

Be aware that working in an art gallery can be different every day.
For starters, galleries usually run different shows every month. Therefore, above everything, you need to be a person who is really well organised and straightforward – especially with artists. Also, you need to be driven for sales. Without sales, there is no gallery (specifically in commercial and private ones!). Having some basic skills in public relations, email marketing, social media and even photography editing can be considered a big plus. In today’s world, the skills that an individual needs to have to succeed in this industry are definitely way more than what was asked for 50 years ago…
Nonetheless, here are the 3 main skills you need to have to work in a gallery:

Industry Knowledge

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t dealing with artists directly. If you want to work in the art world, it must be because you love it and not because it was the only job that you got. Having a solid knowledge of the industry is key.

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate is important in every area and the fast-paced art world, this is no exception. If you aren’t going to deal with artists directly maybe you will be dealing with collectors or with events coordinators or even with art handlers or shipping companies. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it’s important to have communicative competencies to ensure the work between everyone involved is clearly established, well regulated, well planned and well produced.

Organisational skills

Who likes to see an unorganised desk? I don’t, and you probably don’t either. Being organised is a MUST in this industry. Can you imagine if you send the wrong price list for a collector? Or if you do a mistake on shipping and an art piece gets delivered in the wrong door or stuck in customs. Yeah, you better not even imagine… You have to be organised in all that you do and know when to prioritise something. The secret is to do everything in an effective matter and ensure that you have a clear understanding of your priorities and manage your workflow accordingly. Don’t get scared if you aren’t the most organised person ever, organising is a habit and a skill. If you don’t have it, maybe its time to start developing it.

How to contact art galleries for jobs

Susan Smith – Art Gallery Opening

Before getting a job in an art gallery you will probably need an internship. Studying art business/management or even art history – again is great, but actually, working in an art gallery is almost another degree in itself. The practical side of running an art gallery is really different from what they teach you in school. Furthermore, today more than ever, galleries are prioritising experience over education. I’m not saying that you should not study or further your education. What I want to say is that education is changing and today, a short course from a well-known institution as Sotheby’s or Cambridge might have a stronger impact on your CV than a masters degree.

Face to face

The classic old method that has a strong impact, however, may not be the best for shy people out there. If you are an extrovert individual who likes to stand out in the crowd and won’t shy away from confrontations, I would recommend you to take your ass over to that gallery and meet the gallerists that interest you. If you aren’t confident enough, drop them an e-mail, but make sure to make it captivating and interesting. Galleries usually have one exhibition every 1-2 months and of course, gallery directors and gallerists are most likely present during the openings. It would definitely be wise to introduce yourself during one of those events.

Phone call

Phone calls are another old-ish method that sometimes might have a stronger impact than a simple e-mail. You can call to show your interest in an internship or better, use the phone call besides after sending an e-mail with your CV.

Email or Letter

E-mails are the most popular way to quickly show interest. Although great, this method, since every industry is getting more and more competitive, you should use something else to stand out from the competition. Sending an e-mail with a creative letter can be a great compliment, also you can always only send a letter but, again, if you can complement it with a simple e-mail, better.


  • Nowadays art galleries need people skilled in other areas too.
  • The biggest art galleries out there have really well-organised sales teams who follow very strict plans.
  • Most people who work in an art gallery have a degree in Art History or Art Business
  • Before getting a job in an art gallery you will probably need an internship.

XX great examples of contemporary art (with pictures)

From time to time I get people telling me that they don’t understand contemporary art. That’s fine and understandable, therefore if an image can worth more than 1000 words, nothing better to explain contemporary art than contemporary art itself.

Here I will explain contemporary art with the help of 20 works that represent this movement.

XX great examples of contemporary art (with pictures)

Andy Warhol – Marilyn 1967

Ian Burt – Andy Warhol – Marilyn 1967

Probably one of the most famous contemporary art pieces in the world, Marilyn Monroe of Andy Warhol marks a turning point in the artist life. In 1967 Andy established his print published business – Factory Additions – and this work was the first one to be produced there.

Andy Warhol is without a doubt a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising  and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s.

Jackson Pollock – Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)

Bryan Kimmet – Jackson Pollock – Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)

Paul Jackson Pollock, American painter popular for his unique abstract expressionism style. He was widely recognized for his technique of pouring or splashing liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface ‘drip technique’. This new technique, allowed him to view and paint his canvases from all angles. It was also called ‘ action painting’ since he used the force of his whole body to paint, often in a frenetic dancing style. This extreme form of abstraction divided the critics: some praised the immediacy of the creation, while others derided the random effects.

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) is one of his most popular works. Created during 1950, Autumn Rythm was partly photographically documented by Hans Namuth. Namuth’s photographs showed the sequence in which Pollock filled the canvas, and the order in which paint colors were applied to the work. Currently, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) can be appreciated at the Museum of Modern Art.

Damien Hirst – The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

mappamund – Damien Hirst – The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – 1991

As one of the Young British Artists (YBA’s) Damien Hirst gained popularity from using Death as central theme of his works. His most reconizable works consist of death animals as a shark, a sheep and a cow among others. Those animals that are preserved, have sometimes been dissected, in formaldehyde. The best-known of these was The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a 14-foot (4.3 m) tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde in a clear display case.

The Shark is undoubtedly saluted as one of the crucial works of British art in the 1990s and has become a symbol of Britart globally. It was then sold for a New York investment banker  for 12 million dollars.

Willem de Kooning – Untitled XIV

rocor – Willem de Kooning – Untitled XIV – 1976

Currently at the Museum of Modern Art, Untitled XIV is probably one of the works that better represents the main style of Willem de Kooning. The artist who was born in Rotterdam, Germany got his walk to fame in the United States. Even if his inicial style was more figurative, his evolution as a painter switched for abstract expressionism making him one of the 1st generation of abstract expressionists. Even if most of the Abstract Expressionists denied that they made sketches for their paintings and instead worked spontaneously, de Kooning created a method that allowed for fluid construction and reconstruction of his compositions, leaving them still with an aura of spontaneity.

Interesting to know that De Kooning first solo show happened when he was already fourty-four years old in 1948. By the end of the 1970s, de Kooning was struggling not only with his own drinking and depression but with his familiar process of all-over paintings as well; he was looking for a new way of painting. Therefore this was in my point of view when his works were at its best.

Franz Kline – Buttress

rocor – Franz Kline – Buttress – 1956

Franz Kline is probably one of the most famous American Abstract Painters. Kline’s artistic training focused on traditional illustrating and drafting. During the late 1930s and early 1940s Kline worked figuratively, painting landscapes and cityscapes in addition to commissioned portraits and murals. The personal style he developed during this time, using simplified forms, became increasingly more abstract. Many of the figures he depicted are based on the locomotives, stark landscapes, and large mechanical shapes of his native, coal-mining community in Pennsylvania. This is sometimes only apparent to viewers because the pieces are named after those places and objects, not because they actually look like the subject.

Franz Kline’s Buttress combines the intimacy of a small, flick-of-the-wrist ink sketch with the bodily scale of a dynamic, expressive “action painting.” These two types of scale form the DNA of Kline’s loose, rugged black lines, executed with wide housepainter’s brushes and set against a stark white ground. Kline arrived at this signature style after seeing one of his little calligraphic sketches blown up to monumental size on an opaque projector. Buttress conveys the impression of an expansive bodily painting process. 

High society – Cecily Brown

Amy Raymond – High society – Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown is probaby one of the most popular contemporary female artists alive. born in London, England in 1969 she was definitely influenced by the work of early Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell. Characterised by overt sexual imagery and an Abstract Expressionist gestural style, Brown’s work has emerged some of the most influential of her generation.

High Society reads like an F. Scott Fitzgerald orgy: little men in tails and top hats, muscle-bound millionaire hunks pulling themselves to climax, indiscernible bits of sensuous bodies, detached penises, the allusion of gossipy dinner-party crowds.

Elaine de Kooning – Bull 2

jpbrewer1963 – Elaine de Kooning – Bull 2 1958

Elaine de Kooning was an accomplished landscape and portrait artist active in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century. Though she was very serious about her own work, she was well-aware that it was often overshadowed by her husband’s fame. Women were often marginalized in the Abstract Expressionist movement, functioning as objects and accessories to confirm the masculinity of their male counterparts.For that reason, she chose to sign her artworks with her initials rather than her full name.

As her career began to soar, Elaine’s marriage started to disintegrate. After separating from Willem and moving to New Mexico, Elaine began her career as a teacher. During that period she felt free to develop her own style as was during that same period that she painted Bull 2.

Yayoi Kusama – Pumpkin

Yvette Wohn – Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin, 1970

Yayoy Kusama more than an artist is an interesting human being. Born in 1929 in Japan she started working with Sculpture and installation before making her big move to performance, painting and fiction. Her work is mainly conceptual art and shows some atributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract expressionism. She moved to New York city in 1958 and became part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s.

“The pumpkin is to Yayoi Kusama what the Campbell’s Soup can is to Warhol: an everyday comestible elevated to the status of fine art, via a singular artist’s skills and vision. She has created pumpkin sculptures and paintings, pumpkin infinity rooms, pumpkin charm bracelets and pumpkin polka-dot print shoes.”

Keith Haring – Subway Drawings

Heinz Bunse – Keith Haring – Subway Drawing, 1980 to 1985

Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. After moving to New York in 1978 he found a thriving alternative art community that was developing outside the gallery and museum system, in the downtown streets, the subways and spaces in clubs and former dance halls. Here he became friends with fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

While his career involved a diverse range of art making—painting, drawing, performance, video, murals, and art merchandising—his subway drawings stand among his most well-known and celebrated work. Haring drew over 5,000 chalk drawings over a five-year period, from 1980 to 1985, in New York City subway stations.

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Untitled

rocor – Jean-Michel Basquiat – Untitled, 1982

Before Basquiat being known as Basquiat was SAMO who raised his popularity due to the enigmatic writings at the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 70’s. Moreover duting the 80’s Basquiat name became widely popular even becoming the youngest artstist to be exhibit at Whitney Biennal with only 22 years old. Basquait unfortunetly died at 27 of a heroin overdose. After this tragic incident his works became even more valuable.

Untitled of Jean Michel Basquiat sold at Sotheby’s auction in May 2017, for $110.5 million, becoming one of the most expensive paintings ever purchased. It also set a new record high for an American artist at auction.

Robert Ryman

mlbennett10 – Robert Ryman – Untitled, background music, 1962

Robert Ryman died last year at age 88. He was an American painter identified with the movements of monochrome painting, minimalism, and conceptual art. Best known for abstract, white-on-white paintings Ryman became popular quite late in life. Starting as a professional saxofone player who also served the army Robert had an interesting and different walk to fame. His first solo exhibition only happened when he was already 36 years old but then only took him 5 years to have a solo show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

This painting emphasizes the importance of color in Ryman’s work; even when the key color he uses is white, shade and tone are always carefully calculated. Here, the thickly laid white paint acts as a type of screen for the red, purple, and yellow hues behind it. The screen-like quality of the white painting dovetails with the title, possibly a reference to Ryman’s attempt to become a professional saxophonist. By 1962, he had abandoned his musical career for one as an artist, thus relegating the former to the background with respect to his new profession.

Joan Mitchell – Bracket

rocor – Joan Mitchell – Bracket, 1989

Joan Mitchell can be identified as a member of the second generation of abstract expressionists. At a time when women were marginalized in the art world, she captured the attention of the leaders of the New York avant-garde: Franz KlineWillem de Kooning, and Hans Hofmann all admired her work. In 1951, she was one of only a few women invited to join The Club, the East Eighth Street gathering place where the Abstract Expressionists met for weekly discussions. Throughout the 1950s, Mitchell developed her signature style: rhythmic counterposed lines and layered fields of color that became a language through which she communicated emotion and life experiences.

Bracket can be appreciated at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A striking 15 feet wide, Bracket is a magnificent example of Mitchell’s late work. Known for creating large works, her use of two or more panels allowed her to create monumental works of art

Tracey Emin – In my Bed

Catched 22 – Tracey Emin – In my Bed, 1998

As Hirst, Tracey Emin was another protege of Charles Satchi who gained popularity on 90’s in Britain. She is best known for her poignant works that mine autobiographical details through a variety of media including painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture, and neon text.

My Bed is one of the most popular works of the artist. First created in 1998, it was exhibited at Tate Modern in 1999 as one of the shortlisted works for the Turner Prize. t consisted of her bed with bedroom objects in a dishevelled state, and gained much media attention. Although it did not win the prize, its notoriety has persisted. It was sold at auction by Christie’s in July 2014 for £2,546,500.

Roy Lichtenstein – Drowning girl

Lisa Mari – Roy Lichtenstein – Drowning girl, 1963

Roy Lichtenstein can be considered a cousin of Andy Warhol. Another American Artist he became a leading figure in the pop art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. Lichtenstein used oil and acrylic paint in his best known works, such as Drowning girl which was appropriated from the lead story in DC Comics‘ Secret Hearts.

Drowning girl has been described as a “masterpiece of melodrama”, and is one of the artist’s earliest images depicting women in tragic situations, a theme to which he often returned in the mid-1960s. It shows a teary-eyed woman on a turbulent sea. She is emotionally distressed, seemingly from a romance.

Anish Kapoor

Anne Vorstenbosch – Anish Kapoor – Void, 1989

Anish Kapoor is a British Indian sculptor specializing in installation art and conceptual art. Born in Mumbai, Kapoor has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s when he moved to study art, first at the Hornsey College of Art and later at the Chelsea School of Art and Design.

Kapoor is acknowledging, in effect, that art works on a deeper and more intuitive level than messages and morals: it is experienced primarily aesthetically, which is to say through the senses, and imaginatively, which is a matter of sympathetic participation by the viewer in the realisation of meaning.

Before his 1989 solo exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London, it was feared that the Indian-born artist, Anish Kapoor, had reached an impasse. Void marked a turning point in the artist’s sculpture, which he had been practising in Britain for the previous two decades. 

David Hockney – Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)

Maecenas Art – David Hockney – Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972

A pioneer of the British Pop Art movement in the early 1960s, David Hockney gained recognition for his semi-abstract paintings on the theme of homosexual love before it was decriminalised in England in 1967.  Hockney began painting scenes of the sensual and uninhibited life of athletic young men, depicting swimming pools, palm trees, and perpetual sunshine.

David Hockney’s 1972 Portrait of an Artist, sold at Chisties in 2018 for an inspiring $90.3m (£70.2m), marking at that time a new world record for a living artist.

Jeff Koons – Ballon Dog

Daniele Fabio Fuccio – Jeff Koons – Ballon Dog, 1994

Jeff Koons can be considered the Andy Warhol of 21th century. Recognised for his work dealing with popular culture and ballon alike sculptures he rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era.

Ballon Dog became the artist most popular work especially when it sold for $58 million at Christies in 2013.

Mark Rothko – No. 22

lacasbicho – Rothko – White Center Painting – 1950

One of the preeminent artists of his generation, Mark Rothko is closely identified with the New York school, a circle of painters that emerged during the 1940s as a new collective voice in American art. During a career that spanned five decades, he created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting. Rothko’s work is characterized by rigorous attention to formal elements such as color, shape, balance, depth, composition, and scale; yet, he refused to consider his paintings solely in these terms.

White center shows a brilliant use of color schemes all blended into a single painting enhances a feeling of warmth, brightness, and happiness. It was sold at Sotheby’s post-war auction in 2007 for $ 72.84 million achieving at the time the record of the costliest work of art sold at an auction post-war.

Sunflower seeds – AI WEI WEI

Eleanora Garcia – Sunflower seeds – AI WEI WEI

A cultural figure of international renown, Ai Weiwei is an activist, architect, curator, filmmaker, and China’s most famous artist. Open in his criticism of the Chinese government, Ai was famously detained for months in 2011, then released to house arrest.Some of Ai’s best known works are installations, often tending towards the conceptual and sparking dialogue between the contemporary world and traditional Chinese modes of thought and production.

For Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern, he scattered 100 million porcelain “seeds” handpainted by 1,600 Chinese artisans—a commentary on mass consumption and the loss of individuality.

Francis Bacon

RasMarley – Bacon, Francis -Three Studies of Lucian Freud,1969

Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born English figurative painter known for his raw, unsettling imagery. Focusing on the human form, his subjects included crucifixions, portraits of popes, self-portraits, and portraits of close friends, with abstracted figures sometimes isolated in geometrical structures

The triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969), is considered one of Bacon’s greatest masterpieces. It was sold after six minutes of fierce bidding at Christie’s auction house for $119.9m (£74m) .

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