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What is Minimalist Abstract Art?

Minimalist Abstract Art


Abstract and minimalist art are both relatively new styles that rose to prominence in the late 1950s. In the 20th century, following a period of great change, both minimalist and abstract painters began to attract significant attention. From them, there branched a sub-group of abstract minimalists.

Not all minimalist art is abstract, nor is all abstract art minimalist, yet the two styles are often seen together. Artists such as Donald Judd and Agnes Martin were instrumental in popularizing the Minimalist abstract style.

Many abstract works are complex, wild, and multilayered, a style that is typical in abstract expressionism. On the other hand, Minimalist abstract art is typically more controlled and pared back. The term "minimalism" is still widely used today to refer to any piece of art that emphasizes the primary elements of form, color, line, and texture. Read on to learn about minimalism in abstract art, its history, and why it's so popular.



What is Minimalism?


Minimalism was an extreme example of abstract art which was developed in the USA in the 1960s. Minimalism is typified by artworks using simple geometric shapes. Some artists regard minimalism as a method to free oneself from the distractions of ordinary life and concentrate only on what is necessary to one's artistic expression.

Minimalist abstract art has become enormously popular among modern artists, collectors, and everyday viewers alike. It is so popular that there is no longer any need for words to explain what is on show. Instead, individuals are drawn to these pieces because of their raw beauty. The absence of any unnecessary features allows viewers to concentrate on the most critical aspects of the work.

Whether you're a lover of abstract art or not, it's impossible to dispute that these minimalist pieces can elicit strong emotional responses and communicate concepts in a way that words cannot convey.


What is Minimalist Abstract Art?


Minimalist abstract art is defined as a type of abstract art that concentrates on the elements of form, line, color, and texture in its composition. While it may appear simple at first glance, minimalist abstract art can be immensely influential in eliciting emotional responses and expressing ideas to the viewer.

This trend has gained enormous popularity among modern artists and art buyers worldwide. The simple beauty of the pieces is what draws people in and makes minimalist abstract art so popular with interior designers and homeowners.

The beginnings of minimalist abstract painting may be traced to 1914 when Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky and German artist Franz Marc formed the Der Blaue Reiter group in Berlin. Artists associated with this movement experimented with abstract works that embraced emotion, passion, spirituality, and other intangible themes via the medium of painting.

The painters who formed the original movement wished to explore what they perceived to be lacking in traditional Western paintings—which they considered they were more concerned with materials than with feelings, so they set out to do it.

Even though Kandinsky did not consider himself a "minimalist" or an "abstract artist," he is sometimes cited as one of the earliest abstract artists, even though he allegedly did not consider himself such. Over time the ideas of Kandinsky and other visionaries have evolved into the abstract minimalism style we know and love today.


Minimalist Abstract Artists


Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, among others, created some of the most beautiful instances of abstract art. Those artists most known for working in the minimalist style were Kandinsky, Mondrian, Lee Ufan, Frank Stella, Robert Morris, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, and Nobuo Sekine. Many other artists took the concepts of minimalist painting and progressed it into abstract photography, 3D sculpture, and other art forms.

Two artists, Mondrian and Rothko, convey examples of the different styles amongst minimalist abstract artists. Mondrian was a Dutch painter most known for his "neoplastic" paintings, which feature harsh and hard basic lines and blocks of primary colors. Rothko was an American painter best known for his softer style of vast "abstract expressionist" works, which used hazy basic blocks of color and were sometimes accompanied by a single line of text.

All the artists were all greatly influenced by minimalism and abstract movements, and their work is considered to be some of the prime examples of this sort of art.


Minimalist Abstract Art Examples

  • Ellsworth Kelly, Red Yellow Blue II (1953)

  • Dan Flavin, Untitled 3 (1977)

  • Mark Rothko, No 10, (1950)

  • Donald Judd, Untitled (1980)

  • Frank Stella, Die Fahne Hoch! (1959)

  • Robert Morris, Untitled (mirrored cubes) (1965)

  • Agnes Martin, With my Back to the World (1997)

  • Piet Mondrian, Composition in Blue, Red, and Yellow (1921)


Buying Minimalist Art

Minimalist abstract art is popular to buy and display in a modern home. It is distinguished by its stunning simplicity and emphasis on pure form, which allows the observer to concentrate on the work's colors, lines, textures, and shapes.

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