High Concept

Ever look at a work of art and wonder, What were they thinking? Here, we unravel six contemporary head-scratchers.

Sturtevant’s Elastic Tango

An Aeolian rock + an Athenian vase + a marionette = Jon Rafman’s Manifolds, 2014

Courtesy of artist, Zach Feurer Gallery, Getty Images, and Alamy.


Tetris + The Brady Bunch + an Aleksandr Rodchenko poster = Sturtevant’s Elastic Tango, 2010

Courtesy of The Modern Museum of Art, Alamy, and the Neal Peters Collection


Reiki + Tyne Daly as Maria Callas in Master Class + a time-out = Marina Abramovic’s 512 Hours, 2014

Courtesy of Corbis, Getty Images, Alastair Muir, and Shutterstock.


Bleached denim + fire + AOL Instant Messenger logo = Korakrit Arunanondchai’s Untitled (Muen Kuey No. 17), 2013

Courtesy of CNP Montrose, Alamy, and Getty Images.


A peach pit + a wasps nest + a nude in repose = Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt), 2012

Courtesy of artist, ISTOC, and Bridgeman Art.


An abalone shell + maple syrup + an iMac = Anicka Yi’s Tyrannical Eating, 2013

Courtesy of 47 Canal, Shutterstock, and Getty Images.