Minimalism (came from the English. Minimal art – minimal art) is an artistic movement proceeding from a minimal transformation of materials used in the process of creation, simplicity and uniformity of forms, monochrome, creative self-restriction of the artist. Minimalism is characterized by a rejection of subjectivity, representation, and illusionism. Rejecting classical techniques and traditional art materials, minimalists use industrial and natural materials of simple geometric shapes and neutral colors (black, gray), small volumes, they use serial, conveyor methods of industrial production. Minimalism arose in the USA in the first half of the 60s. Among the most representative minimalists: C. Andre, M. Bochner, W. De Maria, D. Flavin, S. Le Witt, R. Mangold, B. Merden, R. Morris, R. Rayman.
Striving for simplicity and smoothness of forms, artists, architects and designers of the USA in the first half of the 60s of the XX century created a completely new direction in art – minimalism. He was called “cool art”, “systematic painting”, “ABV – art.” Minimalism arose during the merger of many areas, adopting restraint and strict proportionality of lines. Its origins can be traced in constructivism, abstractionism, Dadaism and even pop art.
F. Stella, an American artist who declared himself at the exhibition of Black Paintings in 1959, is considered to be the discoverer of the style. His works consisted of many straight lines that quite clearly and independently got along with each other. And only in 1962 the term “minimalism” was thoroughly introduced into the life of R. Woilheim, who gave an analysis of the work of M. Duchamp. It was then that minimalism declared itself as an independent artistic movement.
Many artists, taking minimalism as the basis, began to work on creating a new image, delving into three-dimensional space and thereby expanding the angle of perception of art. The emphasis was placed on objects used in creativity: pipes, monoliths, nets, beams, gratings, concrete. They do not mean anything, do not tend to symbolically show something, but act only in the role of themselves and are absolute. Tony Smith – a bright representative of this direction, reduces his work to an elementary and “boring”. His sculptures, created from many cubic boxes, occupy one of the leading places in minimalism. A big role in art was also played by the British Anton Zero, who used ready-made beams in his work. Unlike Smith, an artist working under the open sky, Zero preferred closed spaces, showing that his works have an arbitrary beginning and end.
The symbol of minimalism is considered to be the work of the author Kazimir Malevich “Black Square” (1915). His creation carries the minimalism of form, the decay of a cube on a plane. The basis of this direction is the harmonization of the simplest elements. In the style there are no extra details and extra colors. The palette is based on three pillars: black, white and gray. Minimalism sharply departed from the “Makart style.” In place of heavy plush curtains and gilded picture frames, smooth walls and a space uncluttered by decor items and unnecessary details appeared in the interior.
Minimalism clearly made clear the mistakes of previous trends in art and created its ideal model of “constructing the world.” It does not cause indifference, although it is full of seemingly boring details. Most people in modern society prefer it, so minimalism flourishes. I hope that in the future his artistic position will not change, but will acquire only new, improved features.