Minimalism - A twentieth century art movement and style stressing the idea of reducing a work of art to the minimum number of colors, values, shapes, lines and textures. No attempt is made to represent or symbolize any other object or experience. It is sometimes called ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, and rejective art.
Precursors to Minimalism include the Russian Suprematists, such as Kasimir Malevich (Russian, 1878-1935). Examples:
Kasimir Malevitch, Black Cross, 1915, oil on canvas, 80 x 79.5 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris. See Russian art.
Kasimir Malevitch, Black Square, c. 1923-1930, oil on plaster, 36.7 x 36.7 x 9.2 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.
Examples of Minimalist work:
Barnett Newman (American, 1905-1970), The Third, 1962, oil on canvas, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. See zip.
Agnes Martin (American, 1912-2004), Untitled, 1963, red and violet ink and graphite on off-white wove paper, 33 x 33 cm (sheet), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Tony Smith (American, 1912-1981).
Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913-1967), Black Painting No. 34, 1964, oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 60 1/8 inches (1.530 x 1.526 m), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. See Abstract Expressionism.
Anne Truitt (American, 1921-2004)
Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923-), Study for White Plaque: Bridge Arch and Reflection, 1951, cut-and-pasted black papers, 20 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches (51.4 x 36.1 cm) (irregular), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Ellsworth Kelly, Eleven Panels, Kite II, 1952, oil on canvas, 80 x 280 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.
Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled, 1964, silkscreen print, 55.8 x 45.7 cm (image), 61 x 50.8 cm (sheet) inches, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Ellsworth Kelly, Yellow Red Curve, 1972, oil on canvas, 115 x 302 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris. See triangle.
François Morellet (French, 1926-), 6 chance divisions of 4 black and white squares from odd and even numbers generated by Pi, 1958, oil on wood, 80 x 80 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris. See pi.
Donald Judd (American, 1928-1994), Untitled, 1967, stainless steel and Plexiglas, ten units, 9 1/8 x 40 x 31 inches, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX. See more of Judd's work at the site of his Chinati Foundation. Also see rectangle and specific objects.
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928-), Untitled, 1971, intaglio print on paper, image: 15.9 x 37.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Sol LeWitt, Two Open Modular Cubes/Half-Off, 1972, enamelled aluminum, 160.0 x 305.4 x 233.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Sol LeWitt, Incomplete Open Cube #7-18, 1974, painted metal, Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia.
Sol LeWitt, Five Open Geometric Structures, 1979, painted wood, 92.0 x 6720 x 91.4 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Sol LeWitt, Complex Form #4, 1987, painted aluminum, New Britain Museum of American Art, CT.
Sol LeWitt, 463 works in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Robert Morris (American, 1931-)
Dan Flavin (American, 1933-1996), Icon VII (via crucis), 1962-64, fluorescent light and Masonite, 25 x 25 x 10 1/8 inches, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX. See light.
Carl Andre (American, 1935-), 144 Pieces of Zinc (144 Zinc Square), 1967, zinc plates, 144 x 144 x 3/8 inches (365.7 x 365.7 x 6.6 cm), Milwaukee Art Museum, WI.
Carl Andre, Tomb of the Golden Engenderers, 1976, western red cedar wood, x 274.3 [sic], Detroit Institute of Arts, MI. See wood.
Eva Hesse (American, born Germany, 1936-1970), Tomorrow's Apples (5 in White), 1965, enamel, gouache and mixed media on board, 65.4 x 55.6 x 15.9 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Minimalism and Post-Minimalism.
Eva Hesse, Hang Up, 1966, acrylic on cord and cloth, wood, and steel, 182.9 x 213.4 x 198.1 cm, Art Institute of Chicago.
Eva Hesse, Accession II, 1967, galvanized steel and rubber tubing, 78.1 x 78.1 x 78.1 cm, Detroit Institute of Arts, MI.
Eva Hesse, Addendum, 1967, painted papier mâché, wood and cord, 12.4 x 302.9 x 20.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Eva Hesse (American, born Germany, 1936-1970), Sans II, 1968, fiberglass, 38 x 170 3/4 x 6 1/8 inches (96.5 x 433.7 x 15.6 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. See feminism and feminist art, fluted, and rectangle.
Eva Hesse, Contingent , 1969, cheesecloth, latex, fiberglass, installation (variable) 350.0 x 630.0 x 109.0 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Frank Stella (American, 1936-), Hyena Stomp, 1962, oil on canvas, 195.6 x 195.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See square.
Frank Stella, Mas o Menos (More or Less), 1964, metallic powder in acrylic emulsion on canvas, 300 x 418 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.
Frank Stella, Tahkt-I-Sulayman Variation II, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 240 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See protractor.
Frank Stella, Double Gray Scramble, 1973, screenprint, composition: 23 3/8 x 43 1/8 inches (59.4 x 109.5 cm); sheet: 29 x 50 3/4 inches (73 x 128.9 cm); edition: 100; publisher and printer: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles; collection Museum of Modern Art, NY. See concentric.
Richard Serra (American, 1939-), Prop, 1968, lead antimony alloy, 97 1/2 x 60 x 43 inches (247.7 x 152.4 x 109.2 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
Richard Serra, 2-2-1: To Dickie and Tina, 1969, 1994, lead antimony alloy, 132.0 x 349.0 x 132.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Richard Serra, Five Plates, Two Poles, 1971, Cor-ten steel, 96 x 276 x 216 inches, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.Richard Serra, Mozarabe, 1971, steel, x 76.2 inches wide, Detroit Institute of Arts, MI.
Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 1981, Cor-ten steel, 12 x 120 feet, New York City. See arc.
Richard Serra, Trip Hammer, 1988, steel, 274.3 x 331.5 x 134.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See rectangle.
Richard Serra, Torqued Ellipse IV, 1998, weatherproof steel, 12 feet 3 inches x 26 feet 6 inches x 32 feet 6 inches, (373.4 x 807.7 x 990.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Lynda Benglis (American, 1941-), Travel Agent, 1966/1977-78, pigmented beeswax and gesso on Masonite, 36 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches (92.1 x 17.1 x 14 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
Keith Sonnier (American, 1941-), Abaca Code-Circles, 1975/1976, hand-cast paper and stamping, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.Ross Bleckner (American, contemporary).
Tony Cragg (English, 1949-)
Peter Halley (American, 1953-), A Perfect World, 1993, acrylic, day-glo acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas, 90 x 147 3/16 inches, Broad Art Foundation. Halley's style and period of Minimalism is generally known as Neo-Geo.
- "The more minimal the art, the more maximum the explanation."
Hilton Kramer (1928-), The New York Times art critic, in the late 1960s. See art critic, art criticism, and text.
- "What you see is what you see."
Frank Stella (1936-), American painter, 1966. Critic Deborah Solomon and others have described this statement as the unofficial slogan of the Minimalist movement.
- "Minimal art was the first art form to come out of the universities rather than the artists' ghetto. This [interest in Minimalism and later in Conceptualism] can only happen to people who have a historical consciousness."
William Rubin (contemporary), director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art when he said this. Quoted by Kay Larson, "How Should Artists Be Educated?" Art News, November 1983, p. 86.
Also see communication, formalism, geometric, hard-edge, isms and -ism, postmodernism, and Post-Minimalism.