Content generally refers to the subject matter, meaning or significance of a work of art, as opposed to its form (size, shape, medium etc affecting what it looks like)

Georges Braque, ‘Glass on a Table’ 1909–10
Georges Braque
Glass on a Table 1909–10
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018
John Latham, ‘God is Great (no. 2)’ 1991
John Latham
God is Great (no. 2) 1991
© John Latham Estate, courtesy Lisson Gallery, London
Bart van der Leck, ‘Composition’ 1918
Bart van der Leck
Composition 1918
© DACS, 2018

In modern art the dramatic succession of innovations in form from impressionism onwards have meant that discussion of this has often taken precedence over that of content. In the 1960s and early 1970s the particularly radical flight from traditional forms of art that resulted in what became known as conceptual art, gave rise to work in which form and content were fused in a new way.

See also


Meet 500 years of British Art - Room: 1960

Chris Stephens explores British art from 1960, a period which saw new forms of abstraction and the emergence of conceptual ...

The Twentieth Century: Artist as subject

DLA Piper Series: The Twentieth Century - past exhibition at Tate Liverpool: Exhibition guide; The Twentieth Century: Artist as subject

Expanded Conceptualism video recordings – Day 1

Video recordings of Day 2 of the 2011 Tate Modern symposium Expanded Conceptualism