Minimalism, as the name implies is a type of art which strips off unnecessary elements in the artwork and focuses on the fundamental elements to give the artwork a strong and perhaps ‘loud’ expression. It is the term that describes the combination of elements in a creative way in order to promote the piece. In most cases, Minimalist art is referred to in paintings although it naturally encompasses other media like music, performance arts and in architecture.
The idea of Minimalism art was only envisioned in the 20th century although it has been known to have existed centuries before that. In the area of painting, Minimalism art is said to have stemmed through the modernism art era where it was most popular after the Second World War. The constant argument for and against this type of art is that some regard it as having deviated from the original intention of art of having various object contributing to the message while the theorists for Minimalism claims that they are not needed and hence, they are not depicted.
Apart from painting and such, Minimalism is also very evident in the area of performing arts where it has been used and widely practiced.
Where this is concerned, Minimalism puts the responsibility of the scene of the play on the shoulders of the actors instead of using elaborate backdrops and props. This is where this type of art form keeps true to the essence of the performance instead of allowing other objects to tell the story.
Perhaps the most common Minimalism art in the area of architecture is in interior design where a minimalistic design of the space has been adopted and used and this is where the sheer functions of the objects used are given prominence instead of its surroundings. Perhaps one of the biggest influence of Minimalism in interior design came through from the Japanese spaces and architecture where simple as they may be, they were highly functional and were not as elaborate as other forms of interior design.
In America, Minimalism artists include the likes of Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and others and are widely regarded to be the beginning of the Post-Minimalism art movement. Due to its easy to understand nature, Minimalism’s popularity grew towards other types of art form that not only covers the performance arts but also into industrial design and movies as well.
The underlying concept of Minimalism is where the elements of the artwork focuses on the main object that the message is trying to convey.
In interior design, all the parts and additional details which are not needed are taken off until nothing left can be stripped down. This can range from the lighting, the sound, the props and such. One of the prominent Minimalist architects is British John Pawson who adopted the ‘soul, light and order’ design concepts which is very well demonstrated through the Calvin Klein Madison Avenue in New York that enjoyed a tremendous influx of Minimalism art during the 1960s while poets like William Carlos Williams, Stephen Crane and others were also referred to as minimalistic writers.