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Old 10-29-2008, 03:33 PM
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thei.junkie thei.junkie is offline
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Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

I was thinking about this the other day...it used to be one of the hottest things in avantgarde, the whole "less is more" thing. I was really into folks like Mondrian and Rothko for awhile. Nowadays, though, you hardly even heard the word mentioned, and it's ordinarily only in two capacities -- pejoratively, like someone dismissing a Phillip Glass piece, or in advertisements for home products or cars or something (actually, a few of these examples are neat, but seem to clash with the minimalism of old).

Has anyone else seen this kind of thing is other examples? Anyone consider themselves a minimalist in the artistic sense?
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:03 PM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

I certainly don't think we have seen the demise of Minimalism in any way. Within the last two years there have been major museum retrospectives for Sean Scully:



and Brice Marden:



Other artists continuing in the tradition include Michael Berkhemer, Pat Lipski, Lloyd Martin, Joseph Marioni, Thadeus Beal, Ted Larsen, Stuart Arends, Rodney Carswell, Robert Kelly, Paul Feiler, etc...

Certainly Minimalism is no longer the big news it once was (but neither is Pop Art or Abstract Expressionism). The reality is that abstraction in general has hit upon hard times as figurative art (especially within the filed of painting) has come back with a vengeance. Of course there may also be something of a backlash against Minimalism as it was essentially the first truly American academic style... born out of the universities and colleges and owing as much if not more to theory than to the artist's response to the visible world around him or her.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:40 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Minimalism has been in vogue for ages: you see it on T shirts and curtains everywhere. ;-)
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:12 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

The problem with minimalism is that it aint much to look at.

J.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:47 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Yes, thank goodness, it is restful to the eye and offers still subtle pleasures.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:24 PM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
I certainly don't think we have seen the demise of Minimalism in any way....

Good points, all, st luke. I agree whole-heartedly that we have not seen the "demise" of minimalism, it just seems to me that the term itself has been adopted by those outside of the art community, in a way that has caused the art community itself to turn against the word (if not the aesthetic).

Case in point, the last two places I remember seeing the word "minimalism" were in an Ikea commercial, and on the site www.carfunfootprint.com -- an automotive ranking device set up by Mini cooper. I don't disagree with their use of the word (Ikea is all about "simple," and Mini takes the phrase "compact car" to new levels), but maybe it has something to do with the backlash?

For example, I remember reading an interview with Raymond Carver once where he was deemed a "minimalist" and he immediately became defensive. Phillip Glass has also denounced the term. I guess it's kind of like what happened to the beat generation -- they never stopped being "beat," but it's hard to call yourself "beat" when there are companies claiming to sell "beatnik" threads or what-have-you.

But, I'm also not exactly an art insider, so I might have a limited perspective on this.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:32 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

I believe minimalism may be less popular because people are more critical of art movements. We are better educated than in the past, we live in a society where we can see striking images on TV, in films, in magazines and on the internet. We aren't as willing to accept the views of art critics about their pet artists. When I look at some minimalist work, for example the two blue grey stripes by Bruce Marden above, I think that the work does not move me and that there is nothing at all beneath the surface. So why should I admire it ?

Here's an extract from the Oxford Dictionary of Art:

"Minimal Art.... generated a huge amount of critical commentary; sometimes it seemed that the less there was to see in a work, the more verbiage it attracted."

Last edited by Keith2 : 11-01-2008 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:27 PM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Minimal Art it too minimal
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:31 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith2
I believe minimalism may be less popular because people are more critical of art movements. We are better educated than in the past, we live in a society where we can see striking images on TV, in films, in magazines and on the internet. We aren't as willing to accept the views of art critics about their pet artists. When I look at some minimalist work, for example the two blue grey stripes by Bruce Marden above, I think that the work does not move me and that there is nothing at all beneath the surface. So why should I admire it ?

Here's an extract from the Oxford Dictionary of Art:

"Minimal Art.... generated a huge amount of critical commentary; sometimes it seemed that the less there was to see in a work, the more verbiage it attracted."

Yup. I have nothing against minimal art, but I fail to see how it can possibly serve any other purpose than decoration. Nothing at all wrong with decoration either, but hardly something to write long, learned essays about.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:50 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

I think that minimalism serves a purpose in that any attempt to properly appreciate it requires us to think about and experience things in ways that we probably haven't done before. Having already done this, however, I don't personally see much reason to go back to it very often.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:01 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nicholas
The problem with minimalism is that it aint much to look at.

J.
your looking ...... but your not seeing
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:04 AM
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Re: Why does minimalism have such a bad name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by francis bacon
Minimal Art it too minimal
lol , what ?

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