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Playing by the Rules:  1960s Abstraction: Minimalism
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Playing by the Rules: 1960s Abstraction: Minimalism


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Summary of the Minimalist movement in painting and sculpture. Artists include Frank Stell, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Judy Chicago, and more.

Summary of the Minimalist movement in painting and sculpture. Artists include Frank Stell, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Judy Chicago, and more.

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  • 1. Playing  by  the  Rules:  Six3es   Abstrac3on   Minimalist  Sculpture  
  • 2. Minimalism  •  Minimal  art  describes  abstract  geometric  pain3ng  and   sculpture  executed  in  the  United  States  in  the  1960s.  •  It  is  also  referred  to  as  “Literalist  art”  or  “ABC  art”.  •  The  predominant  organizing  principles  behind  it   include  the  right  triangle,  the  square,  and  the  cube   rendered  with  a  minimum  of  incident  or  composi3onal   maneuvering.      •  Minimalism’s  dominant  period  ranged  from   1963-­‐1968.  •  Minimal  art  was  dormant  in  the  1970s,  rejected  by  the   end  of  the  decade  as  hardline  and  authoritarian  by  the   younger  genera3on.  •  Primary  Minimalist  ar3sts  include:  Carl  Andre,  Dan   Flavin,  Donald  Judd,  Sol  LeWiY,  and  Robert  Morris    
  • 3. Minimalism  Characteris3cs  of  Minimalism  include:   –  Repe33on  of  form.   –  Uniformity.   –  Absence  of  metaphor.   –  Neutral  surfaces.   –  Employment  of  industrial  materials.  Trends  of  Minimalist    include:   –  Monochroma3c  coloring.   –  Interest  in  how  exhibi3on  space  was  part  of  the  work   itself.   –  The  vanishing  base  (sculptors  put  works  right  on  floor).   –  Blurring  boundary  between  pain3ng  and  sculpture   (pain3ngs  o`en  look  like  sculptures  hanging  on  wall).  
  • 4. Minimalism  •  Minimalist  art  is,  in  contrast  to  its  predecessors,  not   about  self-­‐expression.  •  Minimalist  concerns  were  more  aesthe3c  than  social,   although  their  art  style  was  considered  “hip”  and   “cool”.      •  Minimalist  art  is  objec3ve.  •  Minimalist  ar3sts  rejected  the  tradi3onal  concepts  of   “truth  to  material”  and  instead  favored  industrial,  non-­‐ art  materials  and  the  manufacturing  process.  •  It  is  a  modernist  concept  to  maintain  some  truth  to   materials,  so  Minimalism’s  rejec3on  of  that  concept   secured  its  nomina3on  as  a  point  where   postmodernism  began.  
  • 5. Minimalism  •  Clement  Greenberg’s  influence  over  the  art  world  reaches  its   zenith.  •  Minimalism,  although  ar3sts  associated  with  the  movement   rejected  the  name,  is  by  no  organized  effort,  a  rejec3on   Greenbergian  aesthe3cs.    It  is  a  literal  applica3on  of  it.    Minimalists   would  however  challenge  Greenbergian  formalism  and  the  power   of  the  art  cri3c.  •  His  legacy  is  carried  on  in  the  wri3ngs  of  followers  Michael  Fried  (b.   1939)  and  Rosalind  Krauss  (b.1941).     –  Each  play  a  significant  part  of  carrying  on  Greenbergian  formalism  to   this  day.  •  The  bulk  of  cri3cal  literature  on  Minimalism  was  wriYen  between   1963  and  1968.     –   The  dominant  authori3es  are  Barbara  Rose,  Lucy  Lippard,  and  Michael   Fried.        
  • 6. Minimalism  Frank  Stella  (b.  1936)  •  Frank  Stella’s  Black  Painitngs,   shown  as  early  as  1959  in  the   MoMA’s  “Sixteen  Americans”   exhibi3on  is  considered  the     inaugural  moment  of    Minimalism.   –  The  design  of  his  pain3ngs  was  o`en   determined  by  materials  available.   –  The  work  of  Robert  Morris  (process-­‐ oriented  art)  and  Michael  Heizer   (earthworks  of  the  late  1960s)  are   Frank  Stella,  Die  Fahne  Hochl,   1959.    Enamel  on  canvas,  121   said  to  signal  its  demise.   ½”  x  73”.    Whitney  Museum  of     American  Art.  
  • 7. Minimalism  Frank  Stella  (b.  1936)  •  Works  like  Frank   Stella’s  Empress  of   India  are  specifically   important  to   Minimalism.      •  His  pain3ngs  o`en   recall  Renaissance   shapes  and  blur  the   boundary  between   sculpture  and  pain3ng.     Frank  Stella,  Empress  of  India,  1965.  Metallic   powder  in  polymer  emulsion  paint  on  canvas,  6   5"  x  18  8"  .    Museum  of  Modern  Art.  
  • 8. Minimalism   •  Stella’s  work  is  much  like  the  work  of  Kelly  and  others.    His  work   teeters  between  Minimalism  and  Post-­‐Painterly  Abstrac3on.   •  Stella,  like  Kelly,  explores  the  shape  of  the  canvas  and  like   Johns,  allows  the  whole  canvas  to  figure  into  the  work.  Ellsworth  Kelly,  Mandorla,  1988.     Frank  Stella,  Empress  of  India,  1965.  Metallic  powder  in  Bronze,  8 5  x  4  5  ½ . Private polymer  emulsion  paint  on  canvas,  6  5"  x  18  8"  .     collection.   Museum  of  Modern  Art.  
  • 9. Minimalism    "What  is  important  to  me  is  not  geometrical  shape  per  se,  or  color  per  se,  but  to  make  a  rela3onship  between  shape  and  color  which  feels  to  me  like  my  experience.  To  make  what  feels  to  me  like  reality."      -­‐April,  1965   Anne  TruiY,  First,  1961.    Acrylic  paint  on   wood,  44  ¼"  x  17  ¾"  x  7”.    Bal3more   Museum  of  Art.  
  • 10. Minimalism  Anne  TruiY  (1921-­‐2004)  •  The  first  exhibi3on  of  Minimalist  art   was  a  solo  show  3tled  “Sculpture”   featuring  the  work  of    Anne  TruiY.   –  It  was  held  in  1963  at  Andre  Emmerich     Gallery.   –  The  show  was  reviewed  by  ar3st   Donald  Judd  and  cri3c  Michael  Fried.  •  TruiY  selected  her  materials  for  formal   and  prac3cal  purposes.     –  She  selected  wood  because  it  would   take  the  color.   –  TruiY  operates  by  using  the  materials   to  materialize  the  color  while  the  color   dematerializes  into  the  form.   Anne  TruiY,  A  Wall  for  Apricots,  1968.    Acrylic   paint  on  wood,  72  5/8”  x  14”  x  14”.    Bal3more   Museum  of  Art.  
  • 11. Minimalism  Exhibi3on  History  •  A  number  of  would  be  Minimalists  exhibited  together  for  the   first  3me  in  the  “Black,  White,  and  Gray”  show  in  1964,  at  the   Wadsworth  Atheneum  in  Haroord,  CT.    •  The  first  true  group  show  however  was  at  the  Kaymar  Gallery   in  the  early  1960s  in  NY.    It  was    organized  by  Dan  Flavin.    •  Henry  Geldzahler  included  Morris,  Judd,  Murray,  Andre,   Hunman,  Insley,  Williams,  Bell,  Bannard,  and  Zox  in  the  “Shape   and  Structure”  show  at  the  Tibor  de  Nagy  Gallery  in  1965.  •  The  most  sensa3onal  NY  show  of  Minimalist  art  was  the   “Primary  Structures”  show  organized  by  Kynaston  McShine  at   the  Jewish  Museum  in  1966.    •  Lawrence  Alloway,  later  in  1966,  organized  a  sister  show  to   McShine’s  called  “Systemic  Pain3ng”.    It  covered  geometric,   hard-­‐edge,  and  Minimal  pain3ng.       –  Ar3sts  including  Noland,  Stella,  and  Novros  were  shown.      
  • 12. Minimalism  Minimalist  influences:  •  The  roots  of   Minimalism  lie  in   European  abstrac3on.  •  The  Bauhaus,  de  S3jl,   canvas,  3Malevich,  Black  Square,  1913.  useum,   Kazimir   1.2  x  31.3,  State  Russian  M Oil  on   and  Russian   St.  Petersburg   Construc3vism  are   par3cular  influences,   especially  the  works  of   Kazimir  Malevich  and   Piet  Mondrian,  Composi@on  in  Red,  Blue,  and   Piet  Mondrian.     Yellow,  1930.    Oil  on  canvas,  20  1/8"  x  20  1/8".   Museum  of  Modern  Art.  
  • 13. Minimalism  •  Minimalist  ar3sts  are  also  influenced  by  ar3sts   including  Pablo  Picasso,  Constan3n  Brancusi,   Marcel  Duchamp,  and  ar3sts  associated  with   Abstract  Expressionism  including  BarneY   Newman  and  Josef  Albers.  •  Minimalism  is  a  reac3on  against  the  painterly   subjec3vity  of  the  New  York  School  of   Abstrac3on.   –  This  is  a  con3nua3on  of  Post-­‐Painterly  Abstrac3on’s   rejec3on  of  the  gestural  work  of  de  Kooning,  of  ar3st   ego,  and  presence  of  the  ar3st.  
  • 14. Minimalism   Tony  Smith  (1912-­‐1980)   •  CigareEe  exhibits  Minimalist  need  for  viewer  interac3on.  Tony  Smith,  CigareEe,  1961-­‐66.    Plywood  model  to  be  made  in  steel,  15  x  26  x  18.    As  seen   outside  the  Albright-­‐Knox  Art  Gallery,  Buffalo  NY  .  
  • 15. •  Smith’s  work  recalls   the  Baroque   emphasis  on  viewer   interac3on  with  the   piece.   •  CigareEe  must  be   viewed  from   mul3ple  angles  to   fully  see  and   appreciate  it.   •  Smith  demands  the   viewer  rely  on   memory  and   movement  to   Tony  Smith,  CigareEe,  1961-­‐66.     understand  the   Plywood  model  to  be  made  in   Gianlorenzo  Bernini,   steel,  15  x  26  x  18.    As  seen  1623-­‐1624.    Marble,  67”.   piece.   outside  the  Albright-­‐Knox  Art  Galleria  Borghese,  Rome.   Gallery,  Buffalo  NY  .  
  • 16. Minimalism  Tony  Smith  (1912-­‐1980)  •  Like  Pop,  Smith’s  Die  takes   the  everyday  item  and   elevates  its  status  to  art.  •  Its  placement  on  the   ground  demonstrates   Minimalist  dismissal  of  the   base.     Tony  Smith,  Die,  1962.    Steel,  edi3on  of   three,  6  x  6  x  6 .    Private  Collec3on.      
  • 17. Minimalism  •  Smith’s  Die  recalls  Piero  Manzoni’s  own  Pedestal  for  the  World,   1961  and  an3cipates  earthworks.  Piero  Manzoni,  Socle  du  Monde  (Pedestal   Tony  Smith,  Die,  1962.    Steel,  edi3on   for  the  World,)  1962.    Iron  and  bronze   of  three,  6  x  6  x  6 .    Private  32.3”  x  39.4”  x  39.4”,      Herning,    Denmark.   Collec3on.      
  • 18. •  The  first  ar3st  to   address  the  base  and   produce  baseless  art   was  Yves  Klein  in  1957.   –  Klein’s  “aerosta3c   sculptures”  consisted   of  his  releasing  1001   blue  balloons  into  the   air.  •  By  the  mid-­‐1960s,  this   was  common  prac3ce.   –  Argument  against  the   base  was  grounded  in   formal  and  theore3cal   no3ons  regarding  the   ontological  status  of   Recrea3on  of  Yves  Klein’s  Aesrosta@c  Sculptures,   the  work  of  art.   1957.    Photographs  January    21,  2007.  Georges  Jean   Raymond  Pompidou,  Paris.  
  • 19. Minimalism  Anthony  Caro  (b.  1924)  •  Caro’s  sculptures  are  some  of  the   earliest  examples  of  sculptures  that   are  completely  self-­‐suppor3ve.   –  His  Midday  demonstrates  sculpture   in  process  of  elimina3ng  the  base   en3rely.   –  His  works,  like  Twenty  Four  Hours,   use  the  ground  as  an  ac3ve  part  of   Anthony  Caro,  Midday,  1960.  Painted  steel the  sculpture.   7  ¾  x  37  ⅜"  x  12  1  ¾ Museum  of  Mode•  Caro’s  pieces  emphasize  their   Art,  NY.   existence  as  physical  objects  in  a   physical  space.  •  Ar3sts  and  cri3cs  argued  the  base   placed  the  sculpture  on  a  level  not   shared  by  the  viewer.     –  The  base  idealized  sculpture  and   emphasized  the  unreal  status  of  its   support.   Anthony  Caro,  Twenty  Four  Hours,  1960.     Painted  steel,  4.5’  x    7.3’  x  2.7’.  Tate   Modern.  
  • 20. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  Bell  was  a  leader  of  the  “Light   and  Space”  Movement.   –  Ar3sts  combine  interest  in   technology  and  art  with  light   and  space.  •  The  radical  disappearance  of  the   base  was  also  seen  in  Larry  Bell’s   work,  Un@tled  (1967).  •  Bell’s  exhibi3on  without  bases   addresses  the  aesthe3c  of  the   3me  which  believed  the  base   was  ineffectual    and   meaninglessness.   Larry  Bell,  97,  1997.  Beveled  glass,  6’x6’x4’.   Installa3on  view    wood  Street  Gallery,   PiYsburgh,  PA.  
  • 21. Light  and  Space  Movement  Robert  Irwin  (b.1928)  •  Irwin’s  Un@tled,  is  a   drama3c  example  of  the   work,  its  environment,  and   their  rela3onship.   Robert  Irwin,  Un@tled,  1965-­‐67.    Acrylic   automobile  lacquers  on  prepared,   shaped  aluminum  with  metal  tubes,  four   150  waY  floodlights,  60”  diameter.     Walker  Art  Center,  Minneapolis.  
  • 22. Minimalism  Donald  Judd  (1928-­‐1994)  •  Judd  was  both  an  ar3st  and  art   cri3c.  •  His  essay,  “Specific  Objects”  (1965)   helped  to  establish  Minimalist  art.  •  He  also  claims  to  have  thought  of   eradica3ng  the  base  prior  to  other   ar3sts  wit  his  work  from  1962.  •  His  sculptures  exhibit  Minimalist     characteris3cs  in  their  serialism   (something  inherited  from  Pop   art),  monochroma3c  color  scheme,   lack  of  a  base,  use  of  industrial   Donald  Judd,  Un@tled  (Stack),    1967.  Lacquer   objects,  and  objec3vity.   on  galvanized  iron,  Twelve  units,  each  9  x   40  x  31 ,    Museum  of  Modern  Art,  NY.  
  • 23. Minimalism  Donald  Judd  (1928-­‐1994)  •  His  Un@tled,  1977   demonstrates  Judd’s  removal   of  the  base  and  op3ng  to   hang  his  sculptures  on  the   wall-­‐a  move  that  also  blurs   the  boundaries  between   pain3ng  and  sculpture.  •  His  work  u3lizes  uniformity   of  form-­‐the  pieces  create  the   whole  work  and  that   uniformity  is  repeated   Donald  Judd,  Un@tled  (77/23  -­‐  Bernstein),   without  metaphor.   1977.    Stainless  steel  and  blue  Plexiglas.     Private  Collec3on.    
  • 24. A  work  can  be  as  powerful  as  it  can  be  thought  to  be.    Actual  space  is  intrinsically  more  powerful  and  specific  than  paint  on  a  flat  surface…                                    -­‐Donald  Judd   Donald  Judd,  Un@tled,  1977.    Concrete,  outer   ring  diameter  49 3, Münster,  Germany.  
  • 25. Minimalism  Robert  Morris  (b.1931)  •  Morris’  work  from  the  early  1960s   is  another  example  of  ar3sts   abandoning  the  base  to  display   their  sculpture.  •  Some  scholars  argue  these  works   to  be  the  earliest  example  of  a   Minimalist  ar3st  NOT  using  the   base.   Robert  Morris,  Two  Columns,  1961.     Painted  plywood,  96”  x  24”  x  24”.   Private  Collec3on.    
  • 26. Minimalism  Robert  Morris  (b.1931)  •  Morris  was  a  student  of  Tony  Smith.  •  Morris  took  the  gestalt  principle  as   the  driving  force  behind  his   sculptures.   –  This  theory  focuses  on  human   percep3on  and  the  ability  to   understand  visual  rela3onships  of   space  and  unity.  •  His  approach  toward  crea3ng  works   as  part  of  a  total  exhibi3on  concept   was  based  on  the  scale  of  the   human  body  and  its  experience  with   the  work  and  the  space  in  which  it   was  shown.   –  This  approach  evolved  into  site-­‐ specific  art  and  has  its  roots  in  the   Robert  Morris,  Exhibi3on,  Green  Gallery,  New   work  of  earlier  modern  ar3sts   York,  1964.    Le`  to  right:  Un@tled  (Cloud),   SchwiYers  and  Klein,  and  Baroque   1964,  painted  plywood.    Un@tled  (Boiler),   ar3sts  like  Bernini.   1964,  painted  plywood;  Un@tled  (Floor  Beam),   1964,  painted  plywood;  Un@tled  (Titled),  1964,   painted  plywood.  
  • 27. •  Morris’  work  references  earlier  ar3sts  including  SchwiYers   and  Klein.   Yves  Klein,  La  spécialisa@on  de  la  sensibilité  à  l état   ma@ère  première  en  sensibilité  picturale  stabilisée,   Le  Vide  (The  Specializa@on  of  Sensibility  in  the  Raw   Kurt  SchwiYers,  Hanover  Merzbau,   Material  State  into  Stabilized  Pictorial  Sensibility,  The  destroyed.    This  photograph  taken  c.   Void)  or  Le  Vide  (The  Void)  displayed  at  the  Iris  Clert   1931.   Gallery,  Paris,  France,  1958.  
  • 28. Minimalism   The  idea  becomes  a  machine  that  makes  art.                  -­‐Sol  LeWiY     Sol  LeWiY,  Sculpture  Series   A, 1967.    Installa3on   view,  Dwan  Gallery,  Los  Angeles.  
  • 29. Minimalism  Sol  LeWiY  (1928-­‐2007)  •  Although  he  would   become  a  leader  of   Conceptualist  art,  LeWiY’s   earlier  work  embraced  the   Minimalist  aesthe3c.  •  Like  Morris,  he  conceived   of  his  works  as  they  would   be  installed.  •  His  Sculpture  Series  “A”   embraces  seriality,   uniformity,  balance  and   harmony,  a  manufactured   process,  and  industrial   materials.   Sol  LeWiY,  Sculpture  Series   A, 1967.    Installa3on   view,  Dwan  Gallery,  Los  Angeles.  
  • 30. Sol  LeWiY  (1928-­‐2007)  •  LeWiY’s  works  were  usually   not  constructed  by  the  ar3st;   he  would  sell  or  distribute   instruc3ons  to  the  museum   or  gallery  for  installa3on.   –  This  erases  the  ar3st’s  hand   and  ego  from  the  finished   piece.  •  This  concern  with  process,   shared  by  LeWiY  and  Morris   Sol  LeWiY,  Wall  Drawing  No.  652,  On  Three   Walls,  Con@nuous  Forms  with  Color  in   would  become  the  basis  for   Washes  Superimposed,  1990.    Color  ink  wash   Process  Art  and  the  ul3mate   on  wall,  approximately  30  x  60    As  pictured   challenge  to  Minimalist   in  temporary  installa3on  at  Addison  Gallery,   aesthe3c.     Andover,  MA  c.  1993.    Currently  installed  in   Indianapolis  Museum  of  Art  .  
  • 31. Minimalism  Sol  LeWiY  (1928-­‐2007)  •  LeWiY’s  artwork  and  his  wri3ngs  lead   Minimalism’s  challenge  of  the   Modernist  aesthe3c.   –  Minimalists  rejected  Greenberg’s   ideals.  •  LeWiY’s  influen3al  essay,   “Paragraphs  on  Conceptual  Art”   paved  the  way  for  Conceptualism  by   arguing  it  was  the  idea  that  was  most   important.     –  Conceptualism  takes  influence  from   Dada.   Sample  of  instruc3ons  for  drawing   by  Sol  LeWiY.  
  • 32. Minimalism  Carl  Andre  (b.  1935)  •  Andre  drew  influence   from  Stella  and  Brancusi.  •  Rejects  Renaissance   subtrac3ve  process  for   construc3on  of  art   objects.  •  His  pieces  use  industrial   materials  in  mul3ple  to   create  cohesive  whole.     Carl  Andre,  Pyramid,  1959  (destroyed),     1970  9recreated).  Fir  wood,  68  7/8   x   31 x  31 . Dallas  Museum  of  Art.  
  • 33. Minimalism  Carl  Andre  (b.  1935)  •  Andre’s  sculptures  do  not  use  a   base;  they  are  directly  in  the  space   of  the  viewer  and  demand  to  be   nego3ated  when  walking  through   the  gallery.    •  Andre  applied  a  very  strict  work   ethic  while  construc3ng  his  pieces.   –  He  took  this  from  working  on  a   train.   –  He  would  wear  a  jumper-­‐like   uniform  to  the  gallery/museum  and   piece  together  his  sculptures.     Carl  Andre,  Well,  1964/70.  Wood,  84   x  48  x  48 .  Museum  Ludwig,  Köln.  
  • 34. Minimalism  Carl  Andre  (b.  1935)  •  Since  1960s,  his  works  have   been  site  specific.   –  From  my  personal  experience,  I   actually  walked  over  one  while  in   high  school.    I  was  too  busy   looking  on  the  wall  and  stepped   on  a  work  not  unlike  his  37  Pieces   of  Work.   •  This  is  the  interac3on  the  ar3st   wants  for  his  piece,  but  not  all   museums  allow.   Carl  Andre,  37  Pieces  of  Work,  Fall  1969.    •  37  Pieces  of  Work  was   Aluminum,  copper,  steel  lead,   assembled  by  first  placing   magnesium,  and  zinc,  1,296  units  (216  of   smaller  squares  into  a  square   each  metal),  each  unit  12  x  12  x  ¾,   like  form  to  create  the  larger   overall  36  x  36.    Installa3on  view  from   rotunda  of  the  Guggenheim  Museum,   squares.       NYC  
  • 35. Minimalism  Richard  Serra  (b.1939)  •  Serra  realized  his  mature  work  when  he   began  working  with  steel  plates  and  sheets   of  lead.  •  He  would  create  various  construc3ons,  like   One  Ton  Prop  by  carefully  balancing  the   sheets  together.  •  He  allows  the  medium  to  dictate  the   nature  of  the  design.   –  One  Ton  Prop  consists  of  4  500  lb.  sheets  of   lead  against  one  another.  •  Serra’s  work  presents  an  inconsistency  as   the  3tle  suggests  it  can  be  blown  over  like   Richard  Serra,  One  Ton  Prop   (House  of  Cards),  1969   a  house  of  cards  but  the  nature  of  the   (refabricated  1986).    Lead   material  speaks  otherwise.   an3mony,  four  plates,  48  x  48   x  1  Museum  of  Modern  Art,  NY.  
  • 36. Richard  Serra  (b.  1939)  •  Serra  is  best  known  for  his   controversial  work,  Titled   Arc.  •  This  piece  was  inserted  in   front  of  the  Federal  Plaza  in   NYC  as  part  of  the  Percent   for  Arts  program.  •  Serra  uses  his  characteris3c   material,  steel,  and  exploits   its  maneuverability-­‐you  can   see  the  arc  3lts  a  slight  bit   in  the  photograph.  •  The  piece  caused  great   controversy  in  1981  and,   a`er  a  vola3le  court  baYle,   was  removed  in  the  middle   of  the  night  and  taken  to  a   scrapyard  in  NJ.   Richard  Serra,  Tilted  Arc,  1981.    Hot-­‐rolled  steel,   height,  12’,  length  120.’  Original  sight  Federal  Plaza,   Foley  Square,  NY.    Removed  in  1989.    
  • 37. Playing  by  the  Rules:  Six3es   Abstrac3on   Minimalist  Pain3ng  
  • 38. Minimalism  •  Although  Minimalist  sculpture  is  o`en   concentrated  on  when  discussing  the  style,   painters  were  crea3ng  under  the  Minimalist   aesthe3c.  •  Painters  had,  long  before  sculptors,  realized   the  superfluous  nature  of  the  frame-­‐Picasso,   in  1912,  replaces  it  with  rope  in  S@ll  Life  with   Chair  Caning  addressing  the  nature  of  the   frame  in  its  rela3on  to  the  work.  
  • 39. Minimalism  Agnes  Mar3n  (1912-­‐2004)  •  Mar3n’s  1960s  Minimalist  pain3ngs   represent  her  mature  style.  •  Sought  purity  of  the  canvas  and  to   present  viewer  with  the  medita3ve.  •  Stylis3cally,  she  aligns  with  Rothko,   Newman,  and  Hard-­‐Edge  painters-­‐ but  does  not  use  their  process.   Agnes  Mar3n,  Night  Sea,  1963.    Oil  and   gold  leaf  on  canvas,  6  x  6.    Private   Collec3on.  
  • 40. BarneY  Newman,  Onement,  I,  1948.    Oil   on  canvas  and  oil  on  masking  tape  on   Mark  Rothko,  White  and  Greens  in  Blue,  1957.   canvas,  27  ¼  x  16  ¼ .    Museum  of   Oil  on  canvas,  8  4"  x  6  10  ”.    Private  Collec3on.   Modern  Art,  NY.  
  • 41. Minimalism  When  I  cover  the  square  with  rectangles,  it  lightens  the  weight  of  the  square,  destroys  its  power.      -­‐Agnes  Mar3n  •  Un@tled,  No.5,  1975  signals   Mar3n’s  return  to  pain3ng  a`er  a   short  hiatus.   –  Her  pain3ngs  retain  her  personal   style  of  geometric  abstrac3on,   simplicity  of  form,  and  subtle   luminous  color.   Agnes  Mar3n,  Un@tled  No.  5,  1975.    Synthe3c  polymer   paint  and  pencil  on  synthe3c  polymer  gesso  on   canvas,  71  ⅞  x  72  ¼  Museum  of  Modern  Art,  NY.  
  • 42. Minimalism  Robert  Ryman  (b.1930)  •  Ryman’s  oeuvre  is  a  study  of,   how   paint  worked  as  he  said.  •  His  pain3ngs  are  more  about  an   inves3ga3on  into  process  and  an3cipate   Post-­‐Minimalism’s  Process  Art.   –  He  studied  how  paint  was  applied  and   how  it  interacted  with  the  surface  of  the   canvas  and  various  other  types  of   mateirals.  •  Mid-­‐1960s  limits  self  to  the  color  white.   –  These  pieces  recall  the  all  white  pain3ngs   of  Rauschenberg  and  Malevich.   Robert  Ryman,  Points,  1963.  Oil  on   aluminum,    36”  x  36”.    Collec3on  of   the  ar3st.  
  • 43. Kazimir  Malevich,  Black  Square,   1913.  Oil  on  canvas,  31.2  x  31.3,   State  Russian  Museum,  St.   Petersburg.   Robert  Rauschenberg,  White  Pain@ngs  Robert  Ryman,  Classico  III,  1968.    Polymer  on   (Four  Panels),  1951.    House  paint  on   paper,  7 9  x  7  5 .    Stedelijk  Museum.   canvas,  72  x  72 .    Ar3st’s  estate.  
  • 44. Minimalism  Robert  Mangold  (b.  1937)  •  Mangold’s  austere  pain3ngs  are  a   reac3on  to  the  excess  of  Abstract   Expressionism.  •  Mentored  by  Al  Held,  Mangold  he   learned  to  bring  aYen3on  to  the   objectness  of  the  pain3ng.  •  His  works  use  the  background  to  offset   the  purposeful  “error”  of  design.   –  This  inserts  a  humanness  into  the  piece   and  a  sense  of  changeableness.   –  His  works  find  the  ability  to  rest  between   the  bravura  of  Abstract  Expressionism   Robert  Mangold,  Un@tled  from   and  the  coolness  of  Minimalism.     Seven  Aqua@nts.  1973  (published   –  It  also  exhibits  the  increasing  challenge   1974).  One  from  a  porcolio  of   Minimalism  faced  during  the  1970s.   seven  aqua@nts,  plate:  15  ⅞  x  15   ¾ .    John  Weber  Gallery,  NY.  
  • 45. Minimalism  Dorethea  Rockburne  (b.  1921)  •  Rockburne’s  personal  style  takes   Minimalism  into  the  realm  of   Italian  Arte  Povera  through  her   use  of  modest  materials.  •  She  creates  her  pieces  directly   on  the  wall  or  aYaches  drawing   paper  which  she  o`en  pierces  to   reveal  the  wall  beneath.   –  Sol  LeWiY  also  does  this  with   his  designs.  •  She,  like  many  Minimalists,   never  abandons  the  concept  of   making  parts  to  complete  the   whole.   Dorethea  Rockburne,  Indica@on  Drawing  Series:   Neighborhood  from  Drawing  Which  Makes  Itself,   1973.    Wall  drawing  pencil  and  colored  pencil  with   vellum,  various  dimensions,  Museum  of  Modern   Art,  NY.  
  • 46. Minimalism  Jo  Baer  (b.  1929)  •  Baer  takes  explora3on  of  the   canvas  to  new  dimensions.  •  She  relieved  the  work  of  the   ar3st’s  hand  by  not  including  any   brushwork  on  the  canvas-­‐this  she   believed  helped  the  audience  to   focus  on  the  en3re  piece.   –  She  applied  Gestalt  psychology  to   her  work  in  ways  similar  to  Morris.  •  She  includes  stripes  in  her   Wrapped  Around  pieces.   –  The  bands  are  painted  and  then   applied  to  the  canvas.   –  The  viewer  must  look  closely  at   the  edges  to  realize  the  whole.   –  She  plays  with  the  borders   because  according  to  Gestalt   Jo  Baer,  Un@tled  (Wrapped  Around   psychology  this  is  what  helps  the   Triptych-­‐Blue,  Green,  Lavender),  1969-­‐74.     human  mind  to  process  the  shape.   Oil  on  canvas,  each  panel  48  x  52 . Collection of the artist.  
  • 47. Playing  by  the  Rules:  Six3es   Abstrac3on   West  Coast  Minimalism  
  • 48. The  Ferus  Studs  and  The  C.A.  Cool  School  The  Ferus  Gang  (Group  Portrait  of  Ar@sts  from  the   The  Ferus  Gang  (Group  Portrait  of  Ar@sts  from   Ferus  Gallery),  1962.  Clockwise  From  The  Upper   the  Ferus  Gallery),  1962.  (Le`  to  Right:  John   Le`:  Billy  Al  Bengston,  Allen  Lynch,  Robert  Irwin,   Altoon,  Craig  Kauffman,  Allen  Lynch,  Ed  Craig  Kaufman,  John  Altoon,  Ed  Kienholz,  Ed  Moses Kienholz,  Ed  Moses,  Robert  Irwin,  Billy  Al   (Center).  Photo  by  Patricia  Faure.   Bengston).  Photo  by  Patricia  Faure.  
  • 49. West  Coast  Minimalism  •  By  the  mid-­‐1960s  California  ar3sts  had   embraced  Minimalism  and  given  it  a  uniquely   West  Coast  spin.   –  In  Los  Angeles,  both  the  Fe3sh  Finish  Movement   and  the  Light  and  Space  Movement  put  their  own   par3cular  spin  on  East  Coast  Minimalism.   •  West  Coast  ar3sts  benefit  from  the  le`over  industry  of   World  War  II-­‐its  ship  building  yards  and  temporary   housing  as  well  as  its  car  culture  play  an  important  role   in  aesthe3c  and  materials  used  and  explored.  
  • 50. West  Coast  Minimalism  •  West  Coast  Minimalism  is  known  as  Finish  Fe3sh,   the  L.A.  Look  or  the  Slick  Look,  it  is  also  known  as   the  Cool  School.  •  The  Light  and  Space  Movement,  also  found  on   the  West  Coast  saw  ar3sts  incorpora3ng  the   latest  technologies  of  the  Southern  California   based  engineering  and  aerospace  industries  to   develop  sensuous,  light-­‐filled  objects.     –  Ar3sts  associated  with  these  styles  are  said  to  prefer   result  over  process,  clean  over  messy,  detail  over   approxima3on,  professionalism  over  individuality,  and   icon  over  ac3on.    
  • 51. West  Coast  Minimalism  •  These  schools  are  contemporaneous  to  East  Coast   Minimalism.     –  The  L.A.  School  was,  however,    less  theore3cally  based  and   more  upbeat  and  had  a  more  accessible  personality.  •  Most  ar3sts  of  the  L.A.  Look  created  art  with  a  clean-­‐edged,   me3culous  style  sugges3ve  of  industrial  fabrica3on.   –  They  share  this  is  common  with  Post-­‐Painterly  Abstrac3on  and   East  Coast  Minimalist  ar3sts.  •  The  glossy  look  was  sugges3ve  of  the  machine  made-­‐  it   references  suryoards  and  automobiles,  CA  was  known  for   its  surfer  popula3on  and  low-­‐rider  subculture.   –  Its  shares  the  mass  produc3on  approach  with  Pop  ar3sts,   especially  Andy  Warhol  and  his  silkscreens.  
  • 52. West  Coast  Minimalism  •  Los  Angeles  ar3sts  became  notable  for  their  use  of   new  materials,     –  This  is  how  the  varia3on  of  names  like  ‘L.A.  glass  and   plas3c’  or  ‘Finish–Fe3sh’  came  to  be  applied.   –  These  ar3sts  experimented  with  industrial  materials  such   as  spray  paints,  plas3c  and  treated  glass,  and  fiberglass.   –  Leaders  in  the  use  of  non-­‐tradi3onal  materials  and  the   interest  in  light  were  Robert  Irwin  (b.1928),  Larry  Bell  (b. 1939),  Craig  Kauffman  (b  1932)  and  DeWain  Valen3ne  (b   1936),  who  made  wall-­‐hung  works  as  well  as  free-­‐standing   sculptures.  •  This  work  paved  the  way  for  the  Light  and  Space   Movement  of  the  1970s.  
  • 53. West  Coast  Abstrac3on:  Finish  Fe3sh  Judy  Chicago  (b.  1939)  •  Although  she  is  best  known  for   her  pioneering  efforts  in   Feminist  Art  and  Art  Prac3ce,   Chicago  had  worked  in  the   Finish  Fe3sh  style  of   Minimalism.  •  She  was  the  only  woman  “man-­‐ enough”  as  she  states  in  her   autobiography  to  hang  with  the   Ferus  Group.  •  Rainbow  Picket,  first  created  in   1965  and  then  re-­‐created  in   2004  is  one  example  of  her   work  with  the  Cool  School.   –  No3ce  how  her  work  shares   much  in  common  with  the   Judy  Chicago.  Rainbow  PickeE,  1965–2004.     columns  of  Robert  Morris  and   Plywood,  canvas,  and  latex  paint,  each   Carl  Andre.   column  is  1  cubed  and  arranged  at  45°   angle  to  wall.    Brooklyn  Museum  of  Art.  
  • 54. Judy  Chicago  (b.  1939)  •  Like  many  in  the  L.A.   School,  Chicago   experimented  with  media;   here  she  uses  an  airbrush   (new  at  the  3me)  on  a  car   hood.   –  This  is  also  typical  of  the   fascina3on  with  car  culture   typical  of  West  Coast  ar3sts   at  the  3me.   Judy  Chicago,  Car  Hood,  1964.  Sprayed   acrylic  lacquer  on  Corvair  car  hood,  42   15/16”  x  49  3/16”  x  4  5/16”.  Moderna   Museet,  Stockholm.    
  • 55. Light  and  Space  •  The  art  of  the  Light  and  Space  Movement   inves3gates  human  percep3on  and  sensa3on.  •  It  evolves  out  of  the  L.A.  School  or  L.A.  Look.    •  These  works  are  self-­‐contained  en33es   frequently  made  of  industrial  materials  such   as  plas3c,  resin,  and  glass  -­‐  which  were   designed  to  convey  nothing  of  the  personal   touch  of  the  fabricator.  
  • 56. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  Bell  was  a  leader  of  the   “Light  and  Space”   Movement.  •  Like  most  ar3sts   associated  with   Minimalism,  Bell  was   concerned  with  the   perceptual  experience   stemming  from  the   viewer’s  interac3on  with   their  work.   Larry  Bell,  97,  1997.  Beveled  glass,  6’x6’x4’.   Installa3on  view    wood  Street  Gallery,   PiYsburgh,  PA.  
  • 57. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  Bell’s  art  addresses  the   rela3onship  between   the  art  object  and  its   environment  through   the  sculptural  and   reflec3ve  proper3es  of   his  work.    •  His  latest  works  fully   realize  the  capacity  for   human  interac3on.   Robert  Irwin,  Black³,  2008.  Edi3on  of  3,  Tergal  voile,   light  construc3on,  framing  materials  and  pain3ngs   (urethane  paint  and  lacquer  on  aircra`  honeycomb   aluminium),  dimensions  variable.  Each  pain3ng:  60   x  60  
  • 58. Light  and  Space  Movement   I  like  to  think  of  my  glass   construc@ons  as  tapestries  of   reflected  and  transmiEed  light                    -­‐Larry  Bell   Larry  Bell,  Un@tled,  1964.  bismuth,  chromium,  gold,  and  rhodium  on  gold-­‐plated  brass,  14  ¼"  x   14  3/8"    x  14  3/8".      Hirshhorn  Museum  and   Sculpture  Garden,  Washington,  D.C.  
  • 59. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  A`er  pain3ng  in  the  Abstract   Expressionist  tradi3on,  Bell  began   incorpora3ng  fragments  and  shards  of   clear  and  mirrored  glass  into  his   composi3ons.    •  At  the  same  3me,  his  pain3ng  began  to   exhibit  angular  geometric  composi3ons   that  alluded  to  or  represented  three-­‐ dimensional  forms.     –  These  works  frequently  depicted   rec3linear  forms  with  truncated   corners.     –  These  evolved  into  a  series  of  shadow   boxes  or  “ghost  boxes”,  three-­‐ dimensional  cases  whose  surfaces  o`en   featured  shapes  reminiscent  of  those  in   his  preceding  pain3ngs.   Larry  Bell,  Un@tled,  1967.    Glass,   coa3ngs  and  metal,  14  ¼  x  14   ¼  x  14  ¼ .    Tate,  London.  
  • 60. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  His  work  evolved  into  a   series  of  shadow  boxes  or   “ghost  boxes”,  three-­‐ dimensional  cases  whose   surfaces  o`en  featured   shapes  reminiscent  of  those   in  his  preceding  pain3ngs.   •  This  piece  from  2005  is   reminiscent  of  that  phase  of   produc3on.     Larry  Bell,  SSSS  Shadow  Box,  2005.    Wood  and   coated  glass,  21 x  21 x  5 .    Artnet.  
  • 61. Light  and  Space  Movement  Larry  Bell  (b.1939)  •  The  op3cal   ambigui3es  created   by  the  reflec3ons  of   the  viewers  image   and  the  ambient   space  became  the   hallmark  of  Bells   work.     Larry  Bell  (in  hat),  Standing  Wall  Installa@on   Pasadena  Art  Museum,  1972.   Photo  Patricia  Faure  
  • 62. Light  and  Space  Movement  Robert  Irwin  (b.1928)  •  Irwin’s  Un@tled,  is  a   drama3c  example  of  the   work,  its  environment,  and   their  rela3onship.   Robert  Irwin,  Un@tled,  1965-­‐67.    Acrylic   automobile  lacquers  on  prepared,   shaped  aluminum  with  metal  tubes,  four   150  waY  floodlights,  60”  diameter.     Walker  Art  Center,  Minneapolis.  
  • 63. Light  and  Space  Movement  Robert  Irwin  (b.1928)  •  To  get  the  desired   effect,  Irwin’s   works  are  site   specific.   Robert  Irwin,  Un@tled,  1965-­‐67.    Acrylic  automobile   lacquers  on  prepared,  shaped  aluminum  with  metal   tubes,  four  150  waY  floodlights,  60”  diameter.     Walker  Art  Center,  Minneapolis.  
  • 64. A  work  can  be  as  powerful  as  it  can  be  thought  to  be.    Actual  space  is  intrinsically  more  powerful  and  specific  than  paint  on  a  flat  surface…                                    -­‐Donald  Judd   Donald  Judd,  Un@tled,  1977.    Concrete,  outer   ring  diameter  49 3, Münster,  Germany.  
  • 65. Minimalism  •  By  the  1970s,  Minimalism’s   popularity  (and  Greenberg’s   influence)  was  beginning  to  wane.  •  Ar3sts  grew  frustrated  with  the   amount  of  power  of  the  cri3c   (gallery  and  museums)  over  the  art   economy.  •  In  retalia3on,  ar3sts  began  to  make   work  outside  the  museum  and   gallery  system  forcing  the  audience   to  commit  to  the  work,  to  travel  to   see  it  and  thus  taking  the  artwork   out  of  posi3on  to  be  commodified.  •  This  resulted  in  a  new  wave  of   works  referred  to  as  Earthworks,   Site-­‐specific,  and  Earth  Art.  •  Ar3sts  had  started  to  challenge  the   placing  of  art  within  the  closed   environment  or  gallery  space  by   increasing  scale  or  dimension  of   Donald  Judd,  Un@tled,  1977.    Concrete,  outer   their  pieces.   ring  diameter  49 3, Münster,  Germany.  
  • 66. Minimalism  Ronald  Bladen  (1918-­‐1988)  •  Bladen’s  work,  in  the  tradi3on  of   Duchamp,  dominates  the  gallery   space.  •  His  Big  X,  creates  barriers  within   the  space  it  occupies-­‐an   expression  of  frustra3on  most   ar3sts  were  feeling  at  the  3me.   Ronald  Bladen,  The  Big  X,  1967.    Painted    wood   and  model  to  be  made  in  metal,  22 8  x   24 6 .    Fischbach  Gallery,  NY.  
  • 67. Minimalism   •  The  pluralism  of  the  1970s   would  allow  ar3sts   previously  marginalized-­‐ women  and  ar3sts  of  color   (men  and  women)  to  make   commentary  on  the  state  of   the  art  world.   •  Ar3st  Miriam  “Mimi”   Shapiro  (b.1923),  a  leading   feminist  ar3st  and  scholar,   created  The  Big  Ox,  in  1968.   One  cannot  help  but  see  a   resemblance.   –  Shapiro  trades  in  Bladen’s   colossal  sculpture  for   smaller,  two  dimensional   form.       –  She  later  described  this   work  as  an3cipa3ng  her   Ronald  Bladen,  The  Big  X,   vaginal  imagery,  a   Miriam  Schapiro,  Big  Ox  No  2,   1967.    Painted    wood  and   vocabulary  she  realized  with   1968.  Acrylic  on  canvas,  90”  x   fellow  feminist,  Judy  model  to  be  made  in  metal,   Chicago.   108”.  Museum  of  22 8  x  24 6 .    Fischbach     Contemporary  Art,  San  Diego,   Gallery,  NY.   CA.  
  • 68. •  Miriam  Shapiro  would   join  forces  with  Judy   Chicago  and  the  two   would  launch  the  first  all   women’s  art  classes.   •  These  classes  taught   women  not  only  how  to   create  art,  but  the  history   of  female  ar3sts-­‐a  history   that  had  previously  been   stricken  from  the  record.   •  The  two  would  develop  a   feminist  vocabulary   Judy  Chicago,  Car  Hood,   centered  on  vaginal   1964.  Sprayed  acrylic   Miriam  Schapiro,  Big  Ox  No  2,   imagery.   1968.  Acrylic  on  canvas,  90”  x  lacquer  on  Corvair  car  hood,   42  15/16”  x  49  3/16”  x  4     108”.  Museum  of   5/16”.  Moderna  Museet,   Contemporary  Art,  San  Diego,   Stockholm.     CA.