Abstraction usually describes a visual form giving a contrast and contest to the literal manifestation.
Conceptual has an idea behind it and the idea is the subject and it’s based in some sort of reality.
Conceptual primarily denotes an emphasis on idea, and potentially supersede the importance of aesthetics. Whereas the abstract deals more with visual attraction and more often is about colours, shapes, objects and their relationship.
Conceptual art in sixties & seventies often involved photography to document performances, ephemeral sculpture or actions. As an art form or genre it has never been very well defined. The usage in art began as a way to describe photographers documenting non-photographic conceptual art such as performance art. The artists did not describe themselves as photographers and described, ‘Photography’ as their playground. These artists were referred to as ‘Conceptual Photographers’ but others who used photography extensively are described as ‘Photoconceptualists’ or artists using photography. The term ‘conceptual photography’ used to describe a genre may refer to the use of photography in conceptual art or in contemporary art photography.
Conceptual photography is a type of photography that illustrates an idea. There have been illustrative photographs made since the medium’s invention, for example in the earliest staged photographs, such as Hippolyte Bayard’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man’ (1840). However, the term Conceptual Photography derives from Conceptual Art a movement of the late 1960s. Today the term is used to describe either a methodology or a genre. As a methodology conceptual photography is a type of photography that is staged to represent an idea. It is most often seen in advertising and illustration where the picture may reiterate a headline or catchphrase that accompanies it.
With advent of software such as Adobe Photoshop more and more photographers have been eager to give conceptual photography a go as photo manipulation software has advanced. The popular image sharing websites Instagram to Flickr is a sanctuary of examples of conceptual photography.
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Abstract art can be a painting or sculpture that does not depict a person, place or object in the natural world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy.
Abstract art, nonfigurative art, nonobjective art, and nonrepresentational art are loosely related terms. They are similar, but perhaps not of identical meaning. Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. Three art movements which contributed to the development of abstract art were Romanticism, Impressionism and Expressionism.
The most celebrated and famous abstract artists are masters of their form. Early pioneers, such as Kandinsky and Delaunay experimented with colour, shapes and symbols. Later in the century, in the creative explosion that was abstract expressionism, artists such as Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock demonstrated new ways to make art and, with their huge canvases, gave us new ways to experience it.
Note: ‘Art’ is making something out of nothing and ‘Photography’ is breaking the barriers between the light & dark.