from "Minimal Art", by Richard Wollheim (1965):
[I]t would seem that our existing concept of the work of art has built into it two propositions, of which the first can be expressed as:
Works of fine art are not types, of which there could be an indefinite number of tokens;
and the second as:
There could not be more than one work of fine art that was a token of a given type.
The second proposition needs to be carefully distinguished from another proposition with which it has a great deal in common: i.e.
There could not be a work of fine art that was of a type of which there was more than one token;
which, I want to suggest is clearly false.
For this third proposition would have such sweeping and totally objectionable consequences as that a work of art, once copied, would cease to be a work of art. It is indeed only when this sort of possibility is quite artificially blocked, by, say, a quasiempirical belief in the inimitability of genius, that this Draconian principle could even begin to acquire plausibility.
I suspect that our principal reason for resisting the claims of Minimal Art is that its objects fail to evince what we have over the centuries come to regard as an essential ingredient in art: work, or manifest effort. And here it is not an issue, as it was in certain Renaissance disputes, of whether the work is insufficiently or excessively banausic, but simply whether it took place at all. Reinhardt or Duchamp, it might be felt, did nothing, or not enough.