History, Characteristics, and Artists: What is Minimalism?

História, características e artistas: O que é Minimalismo?

What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the US in the 1960s, characterized by works of art composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and rectangle. Minimalism or minimalist art can be seen as an extension of the abstract idea that art should have its own reality and not be an imitation of something else. We tend to think of art as representing something from the real world (a landscape, a person, or even a can of soup!) or reflecting on an experience such as an emotion or feeling. With minimalism, no attempt is made to represent an external reality, the artist wants the viewer to respond only to what is in front of them. The medium (or material) of which it is made, and the form of the work is reality. Minimalist artist Frank Stella said of his paintings "What you see is what you see".

Minimalism | Magazine | P55.ART

The development of minimalism
Minimalism is an artistic movement that emerged in the late 1950s, with artwork by artists such as Frank Stella beginning to move away from the abstractionism of the previous generation. In the following decades, the 1960s and 1970s, it flourished thanks to diverse artists such as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris. The articles written by these artists helped in the understanding and development of the artistic movement that, aesthetically, offered a pure, simple and harmonious form of representation. The influence of Russian constructivists and suprematists in the 1910s and 1920s is noted in minimalist artists. Artistic movements that explored the reduction of works of art to their essential structure and the use of factory production techniques became more widely understood. – and clearly inspired minimalist sculptors. Dan Flavin produced a series of works entitled Tributes to Vladimir Tatlin (begun 1964); Robert Morris alluded to Tatlin and Rodchenko in his Notes on Sculpture; and Donald Judd's essays on Kazimir Malevich and his contemporaries revealed a fascination with the Russian avant-garde.

Minimalism | Magazine | P55.ART

Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum
A key turning point for the Minimalist art movement was the group exhibition entitled “Primary Structures”, which featured works by Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Donald Judd and Tony Smith, at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1966. This exhibition composed of bare materials, with a smooth and shiny surface, it provoked the line of thought that the artist does not need to be a “manufacturer” of art, as the works were not made with their own hands, but implanted the idea of “artist as designer”. ”.
Mark di Suvero, an artist who participated in this exhibition, commented: “Donald Judd cannot qualify as an artist because he doesn't do the work”, to which Judd replied: “The point is not whether one makes the work or not… I don't see… why one technique is any more essentially art than another…”
Thus, a new way of expressing ideas and space (without any real personal expression) that did not depend on the artist, but on the final result, emerged. This new way of looking at, creating and experiencing works of art had a post-war impact and influenced a whole wave of contemporary artists such as Peter Halley, Lorenzo Belenguer and Sherrie Levine, who are often considered neo-minimalist or neo-geographic artists. These individuals used the fundamentals of minimalism to criticize what Peter Halley saw as the "geometrization of modern life".

Minimalism | magazine | P55.ART

Buy Minimalist Art?
Minimalism is an open and easy starting point for anyone interested in starting an art collection. That's why minimalist art is so powerful. The work itself allows focusing on the most essential and elemental aspects of an object in a way that is not dependent on the artist's personal expression or particular vision. Minimalist art exists in a variety of forms: painting, sculpture, printing, photography, design and more – plenty of options when thinking about incorporating works into your collection or your home.
Minimalist art is a perfect addition to any home, as it can add color and vibrancy to any room without being overly representative or intrusive. The simple, hard-edged geometric shapes of minimalism do not necessarily mean that such works are bland. Quite the contrary actually. Minimalist art can add a sense of rhythm and repetition within a space and create a fluid flow within the room. There are many types and forms of minimalist art, and adding monochrome work can also help neutralize a space, while also introducing dimension and clean geometric lines to the home. Minimalist art can bring a sense of calm and add an element of texture to any space.

Minimalism | Magazine | P55.ART

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