The Reading of Fundamentals Components of George Dickie’s Institutional Theory in the Works of Conceptual Artists Case Study: Marcel Duchamp, Barbara Kruger and Keith Arnatt’ Works

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. in Philosophy of Art, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Faculty of Art Research, Central Tehran Branch, Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Problem statement: Recognition and perception of contemporary Art-works including conceptual art as the first postmodern art movement can only be understood in the light of George Dickie’s institutional theory George Dickie by introducing the fundamental components of his institutional theory such as artifact, artworld and granting the artistic dignity to a work, opens way for the arrival of pre-made and readymade works to the art field. The conceptual artist such as Marcel Duchamp, Barbara Kruger, Keith Arnatt and other similar artists although might create artworks lacking aesthetic qualities , but since the world of art - which George Dickey says is composed of “Artists, Museums, Art critics, Educators, and so on” - gives these works the competency of granting artistic dignity and, as a result, they known as artworks.
Research objectives: The purpose of this paper is to adapt the fundamental components of the George Dickie’s institutional theory to the artworks of some conceptual artists.
Hypothesis: Since many artworks created by conceptual artists correspond to components such as artworld, artifact and the nature of artwork in the targeted institutional theory, so it would be possible to analyze and adapt the philosophy of such work to the institutional theory of George Dickey.
Research method: The research work is performed by a descriptive-analytical method.
Conclusion: In George Dickie’s viewpoint, the characteristics of artifact and artworld are fully compatible with the artworks of conceptual art. In fact, there is nothing in the essence of a creature or work that be able to makes it an artwork, but rather it is the artistic dignity that matters here, which can be fulfilled by components like artworld. Therefore, from this point of view, all artistic theories which are based on the aesthetics` qualities and characteristics are challenged, and thereupon the concept of good art or bad art will become out of value.


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