Art Term

Systems art

Loosely describes a group of radical artists working in the late 1960s early 1970s who reacted against art’s traditional focus on the object with the aim of making their art more responsive to the world around them

Vito Acconci, ‘Room Situation’ 1970
Vito Acconci
Room Situation 1970
Tate
© Vito Acconci
Marcel Broodthaers, ‘Paintings’ 1973
Marcel Broodthaers
Paintings 1973
Tate
© DACS, 2017
Richard Long, ‘A Line Made by Walking’ 1967
Richard Long
A Line Made by Walking 1967
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
© Richard Long

Building on the structures of minimal art and conceptual art, the artists adopted experimental aesthetic systems across a variety of media including photography, dance, performance, painting, installation, video and film as a more effective means to connect with the political developments of the decade.

Examples of systems art include Richard Long who imposed rigid structures to his walks across the landscape.