Minimalist art

With the passage of history , the emergence of new artistic trends has been seen which have played an extremely important role today in the area of architecture, sculpture and home decorations such as minimalist art .

Related topics

Conceptual art ,  art deco ,  digital art , pop art ,  arte povera ,  urban art , postmodernism

What is minimalist art?

The minimalist art or minimalism  (comes from the translation of the English “Art minimalist”), is an artistic movement which was originated from another call pop art  Among his works seeks to maintain the minimum number of elements , in turn is They are as basic as possible but with pure colors , as well as including a variety of geometric shapes , which seek to convey a message in simple language.

  • Characteristics of minimalist art
  • Origin
  • History
  • Minimalist painting
  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Japanese minimalist art
  • Importance of minimalist art
  • Plays

Characteristics of minimalist art

Taking minimalist art into account from a general point of view , the predominant characteristics are:

  • All the works are not abstract at all , that is, only everything related to the material, its surface, size and color is taken into account .
  • They seek to suppress any ostentatious element which is not considered necessary within the composition of the work.
  • It tries to always keep within its structure, materials that have not been very manipulated , as well as creating visual contrasts of two completely opposite elements such as thickness and finesse or also matte it with brilliance.


When talking about the origin of minimalist art, it is immediately taken as a widely corrected but very extreme version of rationalism and abstraction , with respect to the artistic trends born in the 19th century, during the time of the industrial revolution in where it sought to innovate in all areas in which the human being could develop.


In its beginnings, this artistic trend, the industrial revolution, plays an extremely important role where the machine is established as the self-sufficient and perfect model where all works should reflect its perfect essence and physical structure .

For this reason, its bases seek to maintain various geometric figures with a simple composition. The term was used for the first time in 1965 by a philosopher named Richar Wollheim, where he thought about a painting by Ad Reinhardt, where he referred to it as a piece with great content on an intellectual level , but lacking in content. formal or more worked.

Minimalist painting

Within minimalist art, paintings are the easiest way to understand the foundations that make up minimalism , where elements such as geometric shapes fanned with intense colors are used, which are arranged together with an almost perfect structure but that does not show no notable or ostentatious features.


Among the artistic branches in which minimalist art developed, it is architecture that later arrived . This was born in the 1960s in the neighborhoods of New York. (Although it has European bases)

It is the German architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe who transfers the artistic concepts of this current, using geometric figures as the purest elements that can be seen within an architectural structure.


For artists and specialists in the same, the sculpture that is based on minimalist art is constituted as simple pieces which do not reveal any specific image but seeks to carry a complex message to those who observe them. Most artists who create these sculptural pieces seek to try to manipulate them as little as possible so that there is no element that links the human being to the work.


Within literature , minimalist art is represented through a written composition that seeks to reduce the use of adverbs as much as possible , where in turn they try to establish contexts where there is a large presence of synonyms . For specialists in literature, minimalist art within this area is characterized by a full system of economy of words.


Although it seems rather strange, the truth is that minimalist art has also been presented within music in pieces that are composed from dodecaphonist techniques,  where its notes, contrary to the common form of these techniques, are maintained for long periods. of time.

Japanese minimalist art

Minimalism has presented different variations around the world , its Japanese variation being one of the most recognized. This moved to a “Zen” style which is a purely oriental style, this takes the traditional elements of Japan and moves them to a style focused on the ecliptic concept , seeking to focus on “loft” spaces where high spaces predominate with between floors or half levels observed from different angles.

Importance of minimalist art

Minimalist art has boomed in this era as an artistic trend which transmits a message that, above all, to many interior decorators of high society have given it the connotation of “unique”. That is why it has been very present in many artistic pieces today and also in art galleries and museums.


Among the most outstanding works of minimalist art worldwide are:

  • The Carl Andre Exhibition at the Palacio de Velázquez: “Sculpture as a place” at the Museo Reina Sofía.
  • The reconstruction of the German Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona.
  • Lines made in 1965 by Donald Judd and found in London, Tate Modern.
  • More or less made in 1964 by Frank Stella and is in Paris, MNAM,
  • The Vecchia dell’Orto made in 1986, Frank Stella and is located in Paris, MNAM.
  • Agbatana II made in 1968 by Frank Stella and is located in New York, Whitney Museum.
  • The Matter of Time (its name in English is The Matter of Time), installed for 1994-2005 by Richard Serra and is located in Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum.
  • The square box made in 1967 by Richard Serra (New York, MOMA).
  • House of Cards made in 1969 by Richard Serra and is located in New York, MOMA.
  • Rectangle scale made in 1989 by Donald Judd and found in New York, Museum of Modern Art.
  • Electricity continues to be made in 1967 by Richard Serra (New York, MOMA).


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