Minimalism and early abstraction - Deepstash
Minimalism and early abstraction

Minimalism and early abstraction

In 1962, the Russian constuctivist and suprematist movements of the 1910s and 1920s, such as the reduction of artworks to their essential structure and use of factory production techniques, became more widely understood – and clearly inspired minimalist sculptors.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Minimalism – Art Term | Tate

Geometric single or repeated forms

Geometric single or repeated forms: Minimalism is characterised by single or repeated geometric forms (see Tate Glossary definition for 'modular ').

It is usually three-dimensional, taking the form of sculpture or installation, though there are a number of minimalist painters as well such as Agnes Martin and Frank Stella.

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Qualities of minimalist art

Aesthetically, minimalist art offers a highly purified form of beauty. It can also be seen as representing such qualities as truth (because it does not pretend to be anything other than what it is), order, simplicity and harmony.

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The development of minimalism

Minimalism emerged in the late 1950s when artists such as Frank Stella, whose Black Paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1959, began to turn away from the gestural art of the previous generation.

It flourished in the 1960s and 1970s with Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris becoming the movement’s most important innovators.

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Deliberate lack of expression

Deliberate lack of expression: With no trace of emotion or intuitive decision making, little about the artist is revealed in the work.

Minimalist artists rejected the notion of the artwork as a unique creation reflecting the personal expression of a gifted individual, seeing this as a distraction from the art object itself.

Instead they created objects that were as impersonal and neutral as possible.

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Self-referential

Self-referential: Minimalist art does not refer to anything beyond its literal presence.

The materials used are not worked to suggest something else; colour (if used) is also non-referential, i.e if a dark colour is used, this does not mean the artist is trying to suggest a sombre mood.

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Factory-manufactured or shop-bought materials

Factory-manufactured or shop-bought materials: Carl Andre frequently used bricks or tiles as the medium for his sculpture; Dan Flavin created his works from fluorescent bulbs purchased from a hardware store; Judd's sculptures are built by skilled workers following the artist's instructions.

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Space-aware

Space-aware: Carl Andre said 'I'm not a studio artist, I'm a location artist'.

Minimalist art directly engages with the space it occupies.

The sculpture is carefully arranged to emphasise and reveal the architecture of the gallery, often being presented on walls, in corners, or directly onto the floor, encouraging the viewer to be conscious of the space.

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RELATED IDEA

Defining Art
  • Art does not have a universal definition, though it is generally believed that it is an intentional and conscious creation of something that requires imagination and skill.
  • It can be thought of as a symbol of what it means to be human, manifested in physical form for others to see and interpret.
  • The word ‘art’ originates from the Latin word ‘ars’ that means skill or craft.
  • Art, like beauty, is subjective, and its valuation and definition changes as time goes by.
  • To understand art one has to see it’s essential nature and the social impact or importance it generates.

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Minimalist principles to apply to work
  • Declutter your workspace, including your computer;
  • Identify the essential and say no to unnecessary activities;
  • Whatever you do, make it worthwhile. Including your time off.
  • Fill your life with joy and consciously choose what you want your career to consist of.
  • At the end of the workday, reflect on what you accomplished and consider what you could improve.

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In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way of life.
Minimalism is easily transformed from a philosophy of intentional moderation into an aesthetic language that depicts high-end interior spaces.

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