Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Agnes Berecz

Second Advisor

Morgan Falconer


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the legacy and viability of conceptual practices in the present art market. In the 1960s, the Conceptualism movement thrived in a social and political environment that challenged existing powers and hierarchical structures. In particular, Conceptualism investigated social roles within the art world. What is the role of the artist, in terms of authorship, originality, and skill? What is the role of art? What is the role of galleries and museums in exhibiting, selling, and canonizing art? What is the role of the public? Through an assemblage of strategies and mediums, Conceptual artists pushed the boundaries of each aforementioned role in art. All in all, these artists strove for a more inclusive, democratized art world. This thesis focuses on the successes and failures of Conceptualism in the 1960s and Post-Conceptualism in the 2020s. First, Conceptual artists repositioned the role of the artist and art forms. Secondly, Conceptual artists failed in bypassing the gallery and institutional framework due to lack of information systems for art to reach an audience beyond the arts. Ultimately, galleries and museums remained as “cultural gatekeepers”. Thirdly, Post-Conceptualism thrived in the digital era. Post-conceptual works reached a wider and broader audience. Lastly, digital networks enabled Post-conceptual artists to attain agency and success separate from the traditional gallery and institutions system. Although the legacies of Conceptualism is evident, this thesis addresses the success of the movement’s objective to dismantle existing institutional structures. That, anyone is an artist and anything is art.