Characteristics of Minimalist Art

Characteristics of Minimalist Art

Definition and meaning of Minimalism art

Minimal art, also known as Minimalism, was a major postmodernist art movement that emerged in a coherent form in New York during the 1960s.

It was particularly a style of abstract work of art characterized by extreme simplicity of form: in effect, a type of artwork reduced to the essentials of geometric abstraction.


What was the origin of minimalism art?

Minimalism was an art trend that began in the late 1950s and peaked in the mid to late 1960s in the United States. Because it concentrates on simple elements, it's also known as Minimalist Art or ABC Art.

It arose from ideas stated in the early twentieth century by artists such as Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, who pioneered Abstract Art by making nonrepresentational paintings that did not refer to real-world landscapes, people, or still-life settings.

Abstract Expressionism was a style of art that portrayed a wide range of emotions and ideas in a spontaneous or unplanned manner. Abstract Expressionists frequently used rich, hand-painted brushstrokes. Willem de Kooning's Woman V, created in the early 1950s, is an example of Abstract Expressionism. The brushstrokes and lines are strong, emotive, and nearly violent. By the late 1950s, several artists were rebelling against what they saw as the excesses of Abstract Expressionism.

They went in the opposite direction, embracing Minimalist Art. The evolution of minimalism is intertwined with the development of conceptual art (which also flourished in the 1960s and 1970s). Both movements contended that the priority put on the art object is incorrect, leading to a rigid and elitist art world, and attacked the established mechanisms for making, disseminating, and experiencing art.


What distinguishes Minimalism from other forms of art?

Minimalist art has several distinguishing traits. Repetition, or the creation of several pictures of the same shape, is one of the most common. This is especially true for simple geometric patterns like lines and squares. Artists create paintings with vertical color blocks by repeating shapes.

Many of the paintings are exceedingly simple, with only the bare minimum of lines or forms required to paint the image. Areas are smooth and polished, with no brushstrokes or traces of the artist's hand visible. Geometry, line, and color are all important elements in minimalist art.

Early works tended to be monochromatic, consisting of only one color and its complementary hues (like black, grey, and white). Looking for hard-edged, crisp margins between regions of color is another technique to spot a Minimalist painting. There are no subtle transitions or shading.


The description of minimalist works

Minimalist art is a highly pure type of beauty in terms of aesthetics. It can also be interpreted as a symbol for truth (since it does not pretend to be anything other than what it is), order, simplicity, and harmony.

Minimalism is also defined by many significant characteristics. It isn't expressive, for example. Rather, the artist eliminates any traces of biography or passion. You won't see great concepts, complex subjects, or societal agendas when you stand in front of a Minimalist painting. The paintings are all about color and geometry. Minimalist art is art for the sake of art, devoid of emotion.


Minimalist Art Concepts

Minimalist art is a revolt against the expressive and abstract nature of expressionist art, and some even refer to it as rebellious because it aims to completely convey the most simple and fundamental meanings of colors and shapes, in other words, it does not intend to make any other meaning other than what is seen with the eye – the art or design has no metaphor or higher meaning.

Subjectivity vs. Objectivity

The objective rather than subjective nature of art is brought to life; the artist's personal interpretation takes a "back seat," so to speak, and the innate quality of the painting, shape, or form is the primary reason for Minimalist art's existence.

Minimalist art is easily identified by words like "rejection" or "revolt," suggesting its radical attitude as one of the twentieth-century art styles. Minimalist Art – The goal behind minimalism art is to avoid displaying any external references or gestures. Art that tells the truth – Truth in art is one of the features of minimalism art; this indicates that minimalism art provides a highly pure kind of beauty. It does not attempt to be anything other than what it is.

A lot of minimalist work is devoid of expression, which means it lacks emotion and natural decision-making. The artist's personality or feelings are not revealed in their work. Minimalist artists regard art as impersonal or neutral, rather than as a one-of-a-kind production that expresses the artist's personal expression.


The use of color, which is limited to monochromes and primary color palettes, is another distinguishing feature of minimalist art. As a result, the artwork takes on a more neutral tone, and the hue remains consistent.

In other words, the colors are utilized to convey impact and the work as it is, rather than to convey personal expression. Minimalism is characterized by the use of a limited palette of colors. Minimalist artists may utilize either one color or a limited palette of hues.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric forms are used in minimalist paintings and sculptures. In minimalism art, the square and rectangle are the most common shapes. If color is employed, it should be non-referential or expressionless. This indicates that the artist cannot depict a solemn tone if he utilizes a dark color. The hue isn't there to convey an emotion or make a reference to anything.

Precise and angular

The minimalist shapes for painting and sculpture are characterized by precise and hard-edged forms; this is why the square and rectangle are so popular since they provide this precise and hard-edged form. Order, simplicity, and harmony are some of the qualities of Minimalism art.


Types of Minimal Art in the Late 20th Century

Just when you thought you were secure, two new buzzwords related to minimalism appear. Are they significant? Is it worthwhile to research them? It's entirely up to you.

To be honest, I'm done with simplistic art. It all seems intriguing on paper, but in practice, it can be a tremendous letdown. (To be fair, so can Picasso!)


Neo-minimalism is a loosely defined art style/movement in painting, sculpture, architecture, design, and music from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. "Neo-geo," "Neo-Conceptualism," "Neo-Futurism," "New Abstraction," "Poptometry," "Post-Abstractionism," "Simulationism," and "Smart Art" are some of the terms used to describe it.

David Burdeny, Catharine Burgess, Marjan Eggermont, Paul Kuhn, Eve Leader, Tanya Rusnak, Laurel Smith, Christopher Willard, and Time Zuck are among the contemporary artists allegedly linked with the term.


In architecture or the visual arts, post-minimalism refers to attempts to go beyond the minimalism idiom. In its most basic form, 1960s minimalism is an academic style of art marked by extreme form simplicity and an intentional lack of expressive meaning.

Artists of the Minimalist movement were solely focused in communicating a single "concept." The emphasis in Post-Minimalism (1971 onwards) turns away from the purity of the idea and onto HOW it is communicated.

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