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Art Movement in Focus : What is Process Art?

What is Process Art

Welcome to Art Movement in Focus! In this section, we explore significant art movements in history, through a series of articles dedicated to each movement. Here’s looking at What is Process Art.

Process Art refers to a form of art that assigns greater significance to the artist’s process or creation, that it does to the visual outcome. The act of creation becomes part of the artwork itself. Factors such as the passage of time, the transience of the art objects and the ephemerality of the moment are key in this type of art. The movement may be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s.

Process Art, though it may be performative in nature, is distinct from Performance Art. The latter demands the presence of an audience to be a complete piece, while the former does not.  In the former, the viewer’s attention is simply drawn to the moment of creation, through the work itself. For instance, Jackson Pollock’s drip painters beg their audience to imagine the artist loading up his paint brush and splashing it wildly until he achieved the desired composition. The focus is on medium and action.

According to the Guggenheim :

“Process artists were involved in issues attendant to the body, random occurrences, improvisation, and the liberating qualities of nontraditional materials such as wax, felt, and latex. Using these, they created eccentric forms in erratic or irregular arrangements produced by actions such as cutting, hanging, and dropping, or organic processes such as growth, condensation, freezing, or decomposition.”


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