Minimalism in art is a movement that emerged in the 1960s as a reaction to the complexity and excess of previous art movements, such as Abstract Expressionism. The minimalists sought to strip art down to its essential elements, emphasizing simplicity, purity, and reduction over ornamentation and excess. What does minimalism mean in art?
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose a subject’s essence, essentials, or identity by eliminating all non-essential forms, features, or concepts.
Key characteristics of minimalism in art
One of the key characteristics of minimalism in art is simple geometric shapes and forms. This can include things like squares, circles, rectangles, and more complex shapes like cubes and pyramids. Minimalists also often use a limited palette of colors, with many works featuring only a few colors or even just one color.
Another important aspect of minimalism is the use of industrial materials and techniques. Many minimalist artists use materials like steel, aluminum, and plastic to create their works, and they often employ industrial processes like welding and casting to fabricate their pieces. This contrasts traditional art materials like paint and canvas, which many minimalists saw as being too closely associated with the excesses of previous art movements.
Influence on the art world
Minimalism also often emphasizes the physicality and presence of the artwork, as opposed to its representational or symbolic content. Minimalists sought to create self-sufficient and self-referential works rather than dependent on a symbolic meaning or narrative. This can be seen in the use of simple, geometric forms and industrial materials, which often leave the interpretation of the work open to the viewer.
Minimalism has had a profound influence on the art world, and its influence can be seen in many different styles and movements that have emerged since its inception. From the development of Conceptual art and Performance art in the 1960s and 1970s to the continued popularity of minimalism in contemporary art today. Many artists and movements, such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Carl Andre, are considered minimalists for their use of geometric forms and industrial materials, as well as their emphasis on the physicality and presence of the artwork.
Overall, minimalism in art is a movement that emphasizes simplicity, purity, and reduction over ornamentation and excess. It is characterized by the use of simple geometric shapes and forms, a limited palette of colors, and the use of industrial materials and techniques. It also emphasizes the physicality and presence of the artwork itself, as opposed to its representational or symbolic content, and has profoundly influenced the art world.