Minimalism

Explore the simplified forms and rich ideas behind Minimalist art.


Serial Forms and Repetition

Explore the importance of seriality and repetition in Minimalist art.


The Materials of Minimalism

Explore how Minimalists embraced the techniques and materials of manufacturing and industry.


Constructing Space

Explore how Minimalist artists engaged with their physical surroundings.


The early 1960s brought about a significant shift in American art, largely in reaction to the critical and popular success of the highly personal and expressive painterly gestures of Abstract Expressionism. Minimalist artists produced pared-down three-dimensional objects that have no resemblance to any real objects. Their new vocabulary of simplified, geometric forms made from humble industrial materials challenged traditional notions of craftsmanship, the illusion of three dimensions, or spatial depth, and the idea that a work of art must be one of a kind.

An artistic movement of the 1960s in which artists produced pared-down three-dimensional objects devoid of representational content. Their new vocabulary of simplified, geometric forms made from humble industrial materials challenged traditional notions of craftsmanship, the illusion of spatial depth in painting, and the idea that a work of art must be one of a kind.

An element or substance out of which something can be made or composed.

A category of artistic practice having a particular form, content, or technique.

Resembling or using the simple rectilinear or curvilinear lines used in geometry.

The shape or structure of an object.

An artistic movement made up of American artists in the 1940s and 1950s, also known as the New York School, or more narrowly, action painting. Abstract Expressionism is usually characterized by large abstract painted canvases, although the movement also includes sculpture and other media.

Say What?
Minimalism as a term and concept arose several decades before the 1960s. In 1929, the Ukrainian author David Burlyuk wrote: “Minimalism derives its name from the minimum of operating means. Minimalist painting is purely realistic—the subject being the painting itself.”

Related Artists: Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella