Monday, 22 June 2009

What is minimalism?

  • An emphasis on the literal nature of an object as physically encountered in real time and space (PL)
  • The need to explicitly acknowledge three dimensionality (PL)
  • ABC Art , Cool Art, Literal Art, Primary Structure, Specific Structures
  • Straddles the categories of painting and sculpture (AR)
  • Uningratiating, unsentimental, unbiographical (AR)
  • Preoccupied with the boundary between art and non art (CG)
  • The theatricality of objecthood (MF)
  • A feat of ideation (CG)
  • Something deduced (CG)
  • One of the primary legacies of the 1960s (AR)
  • Independent art on an [equal] footing with modernist painting and modernist sculpture (MF)
  • Is it is concerned with the actual circumstances in which the beholder encounters [minimalist] work. (MF)
  • Confrontation as the minimalist work must somehow confront the viewer (MF)
  • Anthropomorphism - as it lies at the 'core' of minimalist theory and practice (MF)

A minimalist work of art such as Frank Stella's 1960 Six Mile Bottom , is one in which the viewer , curator and artist all take part to create a piece of theatre developing the idea first indentified by the artist presented by the curator and viewed by the spectator - see 1966 exhibition Primary Structures . It is not a painting nor is a sculpture it is an object with its own individual site specific anamorphic identity.

MF - Michael Fried
'Art and Objecthood' (1967) Art in Theory VIIA7 pp835-46

PL - Paul Leider , Literalism and Abstraction (1970)
Gaiger, J.M.(eds) (2003) Art of the Twentieth Century – A Reader, New Haven and London, Yale University Press

CG - Clement Greenberg Minimalism’s Situation
Wood, P., (1999) Varieties of Modernism, New Haven and London, Yale University Press

AR - Anne Reynolds Minimalism’s Situation
Wood, P., (1999) The Challenge of the Avant-Garde, New Haven and London, Yale University Press

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