Sunday, October 19, 2014

Experiments in Minimalism

I just finished up a class in Minimalism/Reductive art. It is quite fascinating and much more difficult than it looks. You can find minimalism in all forms of art expression from traditional painting to contemporary film, video and music.

5 Red Squares by Liz Kettle

Minimalism began as a reaction to abstract expressionism. Basically a bunch of artists got together and wrote out the manifesto or rule book for Minimalism. These artists, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt among others decided that they wanted to create an art movement that embraced an absence of expression and create art that was objective, non-referential, and kept the hand of the artist to an absolute minimum. 

The characteristics of Minimalism include:
1. Simplicity of form

2. use of monochromatic palette or primary colors
3. an emphasis on pure shape
4. removal of any appearance of composition
5. keeping true to the materials and often employing industrial materials or mass produced supplies rather than 'art' materials.

We had lots of great discussion in class if true Minimalist art is even possible to achieve. We all worked hard to question where the fine line was between abstract and minimalism. At what point was there that one thing too much. Everyone in the class produced great work from a variety of mediums including a couple videos. We all felt that the most difficult part was to create something minimalist while avoiding boring! 

If you would like to learn more there is a great abstract on Minimalism here.

I have a lot more ideas for exploring minimalism in stitch. Do you like it? Hate it? Want to try it? Let me know.

"A shape, a volume, a color, a surface is something itself. It shouldn't be concealed as part of a fairly different whole."
Donald Judd

1 comment:

Kristin L said...

I like your experiments! I always admire minimalism -- be it in art, or in everyday living, but achieving it is beyond my grasp. I wonder about rule 4 though. It seems to me that the key to making something minimal but not boring IS composition. For example, the placement of your little squares on the larger squares are compositional choices, and a less thoughtful placement (or composition) would not be as effective.