Installation art

Installation art is art that, through the use of sculptural materials and other media, seeks to modify the way we experience a particular space. Installation art is not necessarily confined to gallery spaces and can refer to any material intervention in everyday public or private spaces.

It is a genre of Western contemporary art and came to prominence in the 1970s. However, early examples of non-Western installation art (which influenced American installation pioneers like Allan Kaprow) are the events staged by the Gutai group in Japan from 1954 onwards. Installation art incorporates almost any media to create a visceral and/or conceptual experience in a particular environment. Installation artists often use the space of the gallery directly. Many trace the roots of this form of art to earlier artists such as Marcel Duchamp and the use of readymade objects rather than more traditional craft based sculpture, and Kurt Schwitters Merz art. The intention of the artist is paramount in much later installation art whose roots lie in the conceptual art of the 1960s. This again is a departure from traditional sculpture which places its focus on form.

Materials used in contemporary installation art range from everyday and natural materials to new media such as video, sound, performance, computers and the internet. Some installations are site-specific in that they are designed to only exist in the space for which they were created.