This exhibit examines both the style and advancement of minimalism throughout it’s existence. Minimalism shies away from the idea that an object has to refer to something higher than itself. In the creating of minimalism, certain artists sought to reduce art to its “essential” elements such as geometry and objects instead of abstract shapes and imaginative ideas. It spawned out of reaction to Abstract Expressionism, which sought out undefined shapes, blurred color palettes and a lack of definition between the background and foreground.
Minimalists did not want their art to represent some deeper narrative, emotion or form of self-expression. This exhibit shows multiple pieces of art that display these kind of qualities. The artwork features mainly geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and circles. Along with basic shapes, the exhibit also shows basic colors such as black, white and grey. One piece in particular, drawn by Sean Scully, just had rectangles going in varying directions with every other one being filled in with either black or grey. The biggest painting in the exhibit is a collection of different shapes outlined in either black or white.
When it comes to sculptures, the goals of the minimalists is to use simple, common objects such as paper clips, duct tape and other “non-art” materials. One of the sculptures in this exhibit is propped up in the corner of the room. It is a thin elastic cord wrapped in spring steel made in the shape of a square. A quarter of it is on one side of the wall while over half of the other side of the square is on the other side of the wall. The structure was hollow with nothing filling in the square.
Another sculpture was a group of squares grouped together that stuck out from the wall. The squares were also hollow and all looked to be the same size. These simple structures show the minimalistic view of sculpture and how it is truly about the simple everyday things in life.
Like the paintings, the artists themselves display little intimate qualities. When walking through the exhibit you will see the names of the artist and when they were born but no information on the artist or on the context of the painting. The descriptions, if there are any, simple state what the piece is, for example the sculpture on the corner of the wall is entitled “Blue Day-glo Corner Piece”.
The artwork in this exhibit is very simple and requires little to no imagination which is more than likely the goal of the minimalists. This exhibit shows how art can root itself in any sort of style and appearance as long as there are people who are eager to contribute to it. The artwork itself lends to a certain neatness and simple aesthetic. I thought it was very soothing to look at something so put together and balanced in the midst of a crazy not-so-put-together life.
The exhibit will be at the Weatherspoon art museum until June 4th. Be sure to check it out and experience aesthetic pleasure! And be sure to check out the other exhibits at the Weatherspoon museum!