Essay by Katelyn Martens

Conceptual Art and Contemporary Audience: The necessity and subordination of object and information in the work of Kelly Sherman
Essay by Katelyn Martens

Katelyn Martens, a student in the Tufts University program through the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, looks at Conceptual Art's relationship to its audience over the years, using my work as a point of contrast. Her essay, titled Conceptual Art and Contemporary Audience, can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking on the link below.

Conceptual Art and Contemporary Audience by Katelyn Martens

"Sherman is taking the sort of stoic visual language invented by artists like Kosuth and Baldessari. But her thematic agenda—that is, what she is expressing and why—contrasts quite distinctly from how she expresses it. She explores themes that are inherently personal and emotionally untidy. Sherman is not looking to solve metaphysical mysteries about object and word and image, like the Conceptual artists of the late 1960s. Rather, she is ordering and abbreviating volumes of emotional information. Sherman exposes subjects that are explosive in our current culture. She does not shroud her work in big ideas, in blockbuster terms. Her themes are relatable. Divorce, poverty, the American Dream. These are things that are rooted in life and culture. These are things the viewer doesn't have to work so hard to wrap his mind around."

Kelly Sherman