Introduction to Minimal Art - Understanding Minimalism
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Abstract expressionism Abstract expressionism s-New York School Artists of the 9th St. Article on Minimalist Art at the Dia Beacon Museum "Dia N.9, ; Tate, Definition of Minimal Art · Tate Glossary: Minimalism. CLASSICAL VIEW;The Abstract Expressionist of Music . It's harder to see his connection to Minimalist art, because, at least from an art.
Soon after his first exhibition, Barnett Newman remarked in one of the Artists' Sessions at Studio An example is his letter on April 9,"Letter to Sidney Janis: He fights, however, to submit to the philistine world.
My struggle against bourgeois society has involved the total rejection of it. As long-time art critic for the Partisan Review and The Nationhe became an early and literate proponent of abstract expressionism. The well-heeled artist Robert Motherwell joined Greenberg in promoting a style that fit the political climate and the intellectual rebelliousness of the era. Clement Greenberg proclaimed abstract expressionism and Jackson Pollock in particular as the epitome of aesthetic value.
Harold Rosenberg spoke of the transformation of painting into an existential drama in Pollock's work, in which "what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event". The gesture on the canvas was a gesture of liberation from value—political, aesthetic, moral. Meyer Schapiro and Leo Steinberg along with Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg were important art historians of the post-war era who voiced support for abstract expressionism.
During the early-to-mid-sixties younger art critics Michael FriedRosalind Kraussand Robert Hughes added considerable insights into the critical dialectic that continues to grow around abstract expressionism.
Many of those who didn't flee perished. The post-war period left the capitals of Europe in upheaval, with an urgency to economically and physically rebuild and to politically regroup. In Paris, formerly the center of European culture and capital of the art world, the climate for art was a disaster, and New York replaced Paris as the new center of the art world.
In Europe after the war there was the continuation of SurrealismCubismDadaand the works of Matisse. Also in Europe, Art brut and Lyrical Abstraction or Tachisme the European equivalent to abstract expressionism took hold of the newest generation. Gorky was an Armenian -born American painter who had a seminal influence on abstract expressionism.
He had an extraordinary gift for hitting the nail on the head; remarkable. So I immediately attached myself to him and we became very good friends. Graham's influence on American art during the early s was particularly visible in the work of Arshile GorkyWillem de KooningJackson Pollockand Richard Pousette-Dart among others.
Gorky's contributions to American and world art are difficult to overestimate. His work as lyrical abstraction      was a "new language. The early work of Hyman Bloom was also influential. Hans Hofmann in particular as teacher, mentor, and artist was both important and influential to the development and success of abstract expressionism in the United States.
Pollock and Abstract influences[ edit ] During the late s, Jackson Pollock's radical approach to painting revolutionized the potential for all Contemporary art that followed him.
Minimalism (visual arts)
To some extent, Pollock realized that the journey toward making a work of art was as important as the work of art itself. Like Pablo Picasso 's innovative reinventions of painting and sculpture near the turn of the century via Cubism and constructed sculpture, with influences as disparate as Navaho sand paintingssurrealism, Jungian analysis, and Mexican mural art,  Pollock redefined what it was to produce art. His move away from easel painting and conventionality was a liberating signal to the artists of his era and to all that came after.
Artists realized that Jackson Pollock's process—the placing of unstretched raw canvas on the floor where it could be attacked from all four sides using artist materials and industrial materials; linear skeins of paint dripped and thrown; drawing, staining, brushing; imagery and non-imagery—essentially took art-making beyond any prior boundary.
Abstract expressionism in general expanded and developed the definitions and possibilities that artists had available for the creation of new works of art. The other abstract expressionists followed Pollock's breakthrough with new breakthroughs of their own. The new art movements of the s essentially followed the lead of abstract expressionism and in particular the innovations of Pollock, De Kooning, Rothko, Hofmann, Reinhardt, and Newman.
Introduction to Minimal Art
The radical Anti-Formalist movements of the s and s including FluxusNeo-DadaConceptual artand the feminist art movement can be traced to the innovations of abstract expressionism. Rereadings into abstract art, done by art historians such as Linda Nochlin Griselda Pollock  and Catherine de Zegher  critically shows, however, that pioneer women artists who have produced major innovations in modern art had been ignored by the official accounts of its history, but finally began to achieve long overdue recognition in the wake of the abstract expressionist movement of the s and s.
Abstract expressionism emerged as a major art movement in New York City during the s and thereafter several leading art galleries began to include the abstract expressionists in exhibitions and as regulars in their rosters. Some of those prominent 'uptown' galleries included: Action painting[ edit ] Action painting was a style widespread from the s until the early s, and is closely associated with abstract expressionism some critics have used the terms action painting and abstract expressionism interchangeably.
A comparison is often drawn between the American action painting and the French tachisme. The term was coined by the American critic Harold Rosenberg in  and signaled a major shift in the aesthetic perspective of New York School painters and critics.
According to Rosenberg the canvas was "an arena in which to act". While abstract expressionists such as Jackson PollockFranz Kline and Willem de Kooning had long been outspoken in their view of a painting as an arena within which to come to terms with the act of creation, earlier critics sympathetic to their cause, like Clement Greenbergfocused on their works' "objectness.
Boon by James Brooks, Tate Gallery Rosenberg's critique shifted the emphasis from the object to the struggle itself, with the finished painting being only the physical manifestation, a kind of residue, of the actual work of art, which was in the act or process of the painting's creation.
This spontaneous activity was the "action" of the painter, through arm and wrist movement, painterly gestures, brushstrokes, thrown paint, splashed, stained, scumbled and dripped. The painter would sometimes let the paint drip onto the canvas, while rhythmically dancing, or even standing in the canvas, sometimes letting the paint fall according to the subconscious mind, thus letting the unconscious part of the psyche assert and express itself.
All this, however, is difficult to explain or interpret because it is a supposed unconscious manifestation of the act of pure creation. Pollock's energetic action paintingswith their "busy" feel, are different both technically and aesthetically, to the violent and grotesque Women series of Willem de Kooning.
Woman V is one of a series of six paintings made by de Kooning between and that depict a three-quarter-length female figure. He began the first of these paintings, Woman I, collection: The Museum of Modern ArtNew York City, in Junerepeatedly changing and painting out the image until January or Februarywhen the painting was abandoned unfinished. The art historian Meyer Schapiro saw the painting in de Kooning's studio soon afterwards and encouraged the artist to persist.
De Kooning's response was to begin three other paintings on the same theme; Woman II, collection: During the summer ofspent at East Hamptonde Kooning further explored the theme through drawings and pastels. He may have finished work on Woman I by the end of June, or possibly as late as Novemberand probably the other three women pictures were concluded at much the same time. Another important artist is Franz Kline. James Brooks' paintings were particularly poetic and highly prescient in relationship to Lyrical Abstraction that became prominent in the late s and the s.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Clyfford StillBarnett NewmanAdolph Gottlieb and the serenely shimmering blocks of color in Mark Rothko 's work which is not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied was abstractare classified as abstract expressionists, albeit from what Clement Greenberg termed the Color field direction of abstract expressionism.
Both Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell can be comfortably described as practitioners of action painting and Color field painting. In the s Richard Pousette-Dart 's tightly constructed imagery often depended upon themes of mythology and mysticism; as did the paintings of Adolph Gottlieband Jackson Pollock in that decade as well. Art critic Clement Greenberg perceived Color Field painting as related to but different from Action painting.
The Color Field painters sought to rid their art of superfluous rhetoric. In general these artists eliminated recognizable imagery, in the case of Rothko and Gottlieb sometimes using symbol and sign as replacement of imagery. In pursuing this direction of modern artartists wanted to present each painting as one unified, cohesive, monolithic image. In distinction to the emotional energy and gestural surface marks of abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooningthe Color Field painters initially appeared to be cool and austere, effacing the individual mark in favor of large, flat areas of color, which these artists considered to be the essential nature of visual abstraction, along with the actual shape of the canvas, which later in the s Frank Stella in particular achieved in unusual ways with combinations of curved and straight edges.
However Color Field painting has proven to be both sensual and deeply expressive albeit in a different way from gestural abstract expressionism.
Abstract expressionist paintings share certain characteristics, including the use of large canvases, an "all-over" approach, in which the whole canvas is treated with equal importance as opposed to the center being of more interest than the edges. The canvas as the arena became a credo of Action paintingwhile the integrity of the picture plane became a credo of the Color field painters.
Baziotes' abstract expressionist works show the influence of Surrealism Although Pollock is closely associated with Action Painting because of his style, technique, and his painterly touch and his physical application of paint, art critics have likened Pollock to both Action painting and color field painting. Another critical view advanced by Clement Greenberg connects Pollock's allover canvasses to the large-scale Water Lilies of Claude Monet done during the s.
In these essays, Morris attempted to define a conceptual framework and formal elements for himself and one that would embrace the practices of his contemporaries. These essays paid great attention to the idea of the gestalt - "parts Beyond Objects", originally published in Artforum, continuing to say that "indeterminacy of arrangement of parts is a literal aspect of the physical existence of the thing.
One of the first artists specifically associated with minimalism was the painter, Frank Stellawhose early "pinstripe" paintings were included in the show, 16 Americansorganized by Dorothy Miller at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The width of the stripes in Frank Stellas's pinstripe paintings were determined by the dimensions of the lumber used for stretchers, visible as the depth of the painting when viewed from the side, used to construct the supportive chassis upon which the canvas was stretched.
The decisions about structures on the front surface of the canvas were therefore not entirely subjective, but pre-conditioned by a "given" feature of the physical construction of the support. In the show catalog, Carl Andre noted, "Art excludes the unnecessary. Frank Stella has found it necessary to paint stripes. There is nothing else in his painting. Although Stella received immediate attention from the MoMA show, artists including Kenneth NolandGene DavisRobert Motherwell and Robert Ryman had also begun to explore stripes, monochromatic and Hard-edge formats from the late 50s through the s.
Donald Judd had started as a painter, and ended as a creator of objects. His seminal essay, "Specific Objects" published in Arts Yearbook 8,was a touchstone of theory for the formation of minimalist aesthetics. In this essay, Judd found a starting point for a new territory for American art, and a simultaneous rejection of residual inherited European artistic values.
He pointed to evidence of this development in the works of an array of artists active in New York at the time, including Jasper JohnsDan Flavin and Lee Bontecou. Of "preliminary" importance for Judd was the work of George Earl Ortman who had concretized and distilled painting's forms into blunt, tough, philosophically charged geometries. These Specific Objects inhabited a space not then comfortably classifiable as either painting or sculpture.
That the categorical identity of such objects was itself in question, and that they avoided easy association with well-worn and over-familiar conventions, was a part of their value for Judd. This movement was heavily criticised by modernist formalist art critics and historians. Some critics thought minimal art represented a misunderstanding of the modern dialectic of painting and sculpture as defined by critic Clement Greenbergarguably the dominant American critic of painting in the period leading up to the s.
The most notable critique of minimalism was produced by Michael Frieda formalist critic, who objected to the work on the basis of its "theatricality". In "Art and Objecthood" published in Artforum in June he declared that the minimal work of art, particularly minimal sculpture, was based on an engagement with the physicality of the spectator. He argued that work like Robert Morris's transformed the act of viewing into a type of spectaclein which the artifice of the act observation and the viewer's participation in the work were unveiled.
Fried saw this displacement of the viewer's experience from an aesthetic engagement within, to an event outside of the artwork as a failure of minimal art. Fried's essay was immediately challenged by postminimalist and earth artist Robert Smithson in a letter to the editor in the October issue of Artforum.
Minimalism (visual arts) - Wikipedia
Smithson stated the following: Ad Reinhardtactually an artist of the Abstract Expressionist generation, but one whose reductive nearly all-black paintings seemed to anticipate minimalism, had this to say about the value of a reductive approach to art: The eye is a menace to clear sight.
The laying bare of oneself is obscene. Art begins with the getting rid of nature. There were no still lifes around or models around and Jackson's answer was, I am nature.