Hey! This month I chose Minimalism, that way I don’t have to write too much (just kidding – but see what I did there – I’m hilarious 😃). This movement focused on the concept of “less is more” and the ability to apply it to lifestyle, art, fashion, architecture, literature, music and home decor. You might have heard of a minimalist room, or a modern minimalist abstract work. Today, we’ll focus more on the artistic side of minimalism. Without further ado, let’s get into it! [A tutorial will be linked down below for you to create your own piece of minimalist art!]
What is Minimalism? | A Short History
Tate (A British Art Institution) defines it as an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle. Often, it would be (and still is) shapes arranged in a certain way, or some lines or color put in a thoughtfully careless way – as contradicting as it is. Minimalism plays on the idea that art has its very own reality and should not be an imitation or recreation of something else. Frank Stella, a famous minimalist painter said ‘What you see is what you see’ when talking about his paintings. Essentially, what you see in front of you and around you is what you see in the art.
Minimalist artists decided to start turning away from the previous generation’s gestural art. Frank Stella, an artist whose Black Paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1959, was, in a way, the beginning of it all. In the 1960s and 1970s Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris became the movement’s most important innovators. Minimalism art’s development can be linked to the development of conceptual art – also flourishing in the ’60s and ’70s, both challenging how art was made, spread, and viewed in a world where mostly only the privileged had the privilege of viewing and affording art.
Who Are Some Famous Minimalist Artists?
- Frank Stella
- He is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker.
- He is mainly known for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction.
- Considered the most influential, he worked to get rid of any extra/external meaning and/or symbolism from a painting.
- He famously said “What you see is what you see,” a statement which went on to become the philosophy behind minimalism.
- Donald Judd
- He is an American artist associated with the minimalism movement; his interest in architecture led him to design spaces.
- He is often regarded as one of the most significant artists of the post-war period.
- He created sculptures from materials such as brass, plexiglass, concrete and steel, formatted in shard geometric shapes.
- He said “the simple expression of complex thought,” when describing his work.
- Robert Morris
- He is an American sculptor, conceptual artist and writer.
- One of the most prominent theorists of Minimalism along with Donald Judd with contributions to other art movements.
- He used industrial materials (steel, concrete, etc.)
- He experimented with numerous materials including heavy felt, mirrors, textiles, waste products, steam, and dirt.
These are just some of the amazing minimalist artists!
Some examples of Minimalism art:
This is an art form that strips away all unnecessary symbolism and keeps it simple! You can apply these concepts to a minimalist lifestyle, a piece of art, or your room!
Check out my tutorial here!
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