Dan Flavin—Untitled (for you, Leo, in long respect and affection) 3, 1978
Alan Sonfist—Earth Monument to Chicago, 1965-1977
Characteristics of Minimalism Primarily sculpture Geometric forms Industrially produced Non-referential Materials appear as materials No distracting colors Gallery and viewer are part of the piece
Social and Political Background Minimalism was a product of its time Mass-production Media Conflicts between capitalism and democracy 1960s—a time of radical upheaval and blurring of boundaries “End” of Minimalism Artbusiness Conservative backlash
Artistic Context Minimalism is a reaction to abstract expressionism Rejected romantic exuberance and self-celebration Pop Art expanded the art world Shared characteristics Popularized art
Reactions to Minimalism “Recentness of Sculpture”—Clement Greenberg Minimalism was confusing innovation with novelty “Novelty Art” has nothing to do with art “Art and Objecthood”—Michael Fried Minimalism was challenging modernism
Frank Stella Parallel Order Denied illusion Stripes
Frank Stella—The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, 1959
Robert Morris “Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience.” -Robert Morris
Robert Morris Continued Danced before becoming a sculptor Interested in process of production and perceiving “Notes on Sculpture Parts 1 & 2” (1966) Sculpture as Gestalt Focus on relationship between viewer, space, and sculpture, rather than relationships within a piece Avoids projection of human nature onto art
Robert Morris—Green Gallery (Plywood Show), 1964
Carl Andre “My work is atheistic, materialistic, and communistic. It is atheistic because it is without transcendent form, without spiritual or intellectual quality. Materialistic because it is made out of its own materials without pretension to other materials. And communistic because the form is equally accessible to all men.” -Carl Andre
Carl Andre Continued Used pre-fabricated materials Unconnected arrangement of individual elements within each piece Limitation to relatively simple shapes Sculpture as place Elements are indistinguishable from raw materials
Influence of Minimalism Minimalism spurred paradigm shifts Art no longer had to be a unique object created by an artist Reinvented sculpture Broadened definition and rules of art Closed gap between high culture and mass culture
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