Terry Smith writes about the history of Conceptual Art as its participant and observer. According to Smith, Conceptual Art has transformed itself into the global conceptualism that is still contemporary


Terry Smith, One and Five Ideas: On Conceptual Art and Conceptualism, Duke University Press Books, 2016.


In One and Five Ideas eminent critic, historian, and former member of the Art & Language collective Terry Smith explores the artistic, philosophical, political, and geographical dimensions of Conceptual Art and conceptualism. These four essays and a conversation with Mary Kelly—published between 1974 and 2012—contain Smith's most essential work on Conceptual Art and his argument that conceptualism was key to the historical transition from modern to contemporary art. Nothing less than a distinctive theory of Conceptual and contemporary art, One and Five Ideas showcases the critical voice of one of the major art theorists of our time.

"Terry Smith writes about the history of Conceptual Art as its participant and observer—and his book produces a stereoscopic image of the movement that is fascinating and persuasive. According to Smith, Conceptual Art has transformed itself into the global conceptualism that is still contemporary. This book should be read by everybody who has become tired of the simplistic opposition between global and local and looks for the ways to overcome it." - Boris Groys
"Scholars, critics, artists, and students concerned with the legacy of conceptual art in the present—particularly those focused on its development as a kind of global lingua franca for contemporary art—will welcome the publication of this tremendous book." - Blake Stimson

Terry Smith is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh and Professor in the Division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School. He is the author of several books, including Making the Modern: Industry, Art, and Design in America and What Is Contemporary Art? 


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