‘Anti-art’ is a term used to include various concepts and attitudes that reject conventional definitions of art and raise questions about its nature.

Associated with Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement, Anti-art originated around 1914. Artists like Duchamp rejected established art definitions, producing works outside traditional or popular art. Anti-art, although unconventional, expanded perceptions of what could be considered art. While some completely abandoned traditional forms, others still used them, like painting and sculpture.

Art historians view Anti-art as an umbrella term encompassing various movements that aimed to break with traditional art forms and concepts. The Dada movement is often considered the earliest of these movements, seeking to create art opposing conventional definitions, aligning with the Anti-art ethos. However, Anti-art could also signify the absence of art; for instance, an empty frame might be described as an example of Anti-art.

Other words in the glossary

Building your collection? We can help.

Your questions, answered

Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.