A Little About Andy Warhol’s Films
“His genius was in his way of looking at things, at singling out common objects for extraordinary examination. But the idea of looking at a Campbell’s soup can as a work of art is what’s interesting: the idea, not the can.”
This excerpt is from Roger Ebert’s review of Andy Warhol’s 1968 film Flesh. Ebert is referring to the film but he is also describing the entire conceptual art movement. Starting back with Duchamp’s Fountain certain artists turned away from the objects they produced and focused instead on the idea and the process. Throughout the Twentieth Century, there have been conceptual iconoclasts that do more to challenge art than contribute to its so-called “progress”. Artists like John Baldessari, Joseph Kosuth, Piero Manzoni all focused on the functioning and negotiation of art and let the product of that process simply be a marker or a byproduct of the process.