"In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art."
A modern form of contemporary art which gives priority to an idea presented by visual means that are themselves secondary to the idea. Conceptual art, while having no intrinsic financial value, can deliver a powerful message, and thus has served as a vehicle for socio-political comment, as well as a broad challenge to the tradition of a 'work of art' being a crafted unique object. Indeed, some conceptual artists consider that art is created by the viewer, not by the artist or the artwork itself.
The ideas behind this form of visual art were explored by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), the so-called father of Conceptual Art, although the term was first used by Edward Kienholz (1927-94), in the late 1950s. Duchamp, who became the darling of the radical Dada movement (founded by Tristan Tzara), created numerous challenging works such as his "readymades" series of found objects, of which the most celebrated was Fountain (1917), a standard urinal basin, which Duchamp submitted for inclusion in the annual, exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York. (It was rejected.). Surrealism was another source of early conceptualism.
Later proto-type conceptual works included '4-33' - the controversial musical composition by John Milton Cage Jr, (1912–1992), the three movements of which contain not a single sound or note of music.