Minimalism is a post–World War II art trend that originated in post–World War II Western art, most notably in the 1960s and early 1970s with American visual arts. Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella are some of the most well-known minimalist artists. The movement was seen as a reaction to abstract expressionism and modernism, and it foreshadowed contemporary postminimal art forms, which expand or reflect on minimalism’s initial goals.
La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Julius Eastman, and John Adams, for example, use repetition and progressive change in their music. The term minimalism is commonly used to describe something that is simple and to the point. As a result, it’s been used to Samuel Beckett’s plays and novels, Robert Bresson’s films, Raymond Carver’s tales, and Colin Chapman’s vehicle designs.
Black Square, 1915, oil on painting, 79.5 x 79.5 cm, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1915, oil on canvas, 79.5 x 79.5 cm, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Minimalism in visual art, also known as “minimal art,” “literalist art,” and “ABC Art,” arose in New York in the early 1960s as new and older artists explored geometric abstraction through painting (as in the works of Nassos Daphnis, Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Al Held, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Ryman, and others) and sculpture (as in the works of David Smith).
In 1964, Judd’s sculpture, as well as Flavin’s first fluorescent light works, were shown at Green Gallery in Manhattan, while other prominent Manhattan galleries, such as Leo Castelli Gallery and Pace Gallery, began to exhibit geometric abstraction artists. There were also two pivotal and significant museum exhibitions: Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculpture, curated by Lawrence Alloway and shown at the Jewish Museum in New York from April 27 to June 12, 1966, was organized by the museum’s Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Kynaston McShine, and Systemic Painting, curated by Lawrence Alloway and shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from April 27 to June 12, 1966, featured Geometric abstraction in the American art world via Shaped canvas, Color Field, Following those and a few more shows, the art movement known as minimal art arose.
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