Style Lessons From Conceptual Artists

April 2016Words by Mr Adam Welch

Mr Richard Long. Photograpy courtesy of Lisson Gallery

If you’ve ever found yourself in a gallery staring at a pile of fruit or someone’s dirty underwear, and thinking simply, “I don’t get it,” then you will more than likely have had an encounter with the discipline known as “Conceptual Art”.  In fact, most art these days is somewhat conceptual, that is, predominantly focused on the idea behind a piece, rather than, strictly speaking, what it looks like or how it was made. This is, of course, pretty much the opposite of the way in which you tend to look at your clothes – the general consensus here is that, although it’s nice if a pair of trousers is conceptually sound, it’s rather important that they are at least somewhat easy on the eyes. Yet, it turns out that the pioneers of conceptual art, whose work is brought together in the new Tate Britain exhibition, Conceptual Art in Britain, 1964-1979 (which opens on 12 April), were actually rather sartorially astute. Go figure. Below, we’ve brought together four of the best in all their long-haired, monochrome glory.


Mr John Hilliard. Photograph courtesy of Lisson Gallery