Conceptual drawings offer far more than meets the eye, as they ultimately draw focus to an immaterial idea rather than the actual physical artwork itself. For collectors and art lovers, conceptual art can serve as a catalyst for stimulating conversations as well as for deep personal introspection. If you’d like to add conceptual artwork to your collection, we invite you to explore the many conceptual art drawings offered on Saatchi Art. We’re confident that you’ll discover works you love within our impressive selection of conceptual drawings for sale in a variety of mediums by emerging artists from around the globe.
During the mid-1960s, artists focused on creating works that articulated their ideas as opposed to operating on a strictly visual level. These conceptual artists responded to the increasing commercialization of the art world and sought to expand the limits of artistic creation by engaging with larger ideas. Artists used a variety of mediums and combinations thereof to create these works. Conceptual drawings came to the fore as a legitimate artistic medium in and of itself, but many artists also used their drawings to aid them in creating larger installation and performance pieces. Today, conceptual drawings have found their place in exhibitions and art fairs, highlighting their importance to the conceptual artistic process. This categorical term can also encompass architectural sketches, conceptual landscape drawings, and conceptual life drawings used to plan works in other mediums.
As with other forms of conceptual art, artists who create conceptual drawings often engage with semiotics and larger social issues and movements, including popular culture, feminism, and civil rights. Many artists combine the visual aspects of their drawings with language, incorporating text or drawing letters as part of their works. By doing so, they comment on the abilities of both verbal and visual forms of communication. Other artists also use existing visual materials in their drawings. They pull from mass media materials like newspapers and magazines as well as from other artworks and visual systems like street signs. Conceptual drawings may be used as a tool to further an artist’s idea when combined with other mediums or may exist as the work itself.
Robert Rauschenberg is well-known for his “Erased de Kooning Drawing” (1953), a work in which he erased an actual drawing by artist Willem de Kooning. Rauschenberg questioned the definition of art, suggesting that erasing an existing work in and of itself is a creative act if done by an artist. Matt Mullican is known for drawing his own system of signs and for creating drawings while under hypnosis. In her “Drawings About Paper” series (1967), Adrian Piper used colored paper and minimal marks of pencil to alter otherwise blank sheets of paper. She created the illusion of layered paper, essentially creating a set of drawings about the process of drawing itself. Other artists known for creating conceptual drawings include Ed Ruscha, Robert Gober, and Michael Craig-Martin.