What Is So Appealing About Contemporary Minimalist Painting?
Minimalist painting is best summed up by American painter Frank Stella’s cheeky phrase, ‘What you see, is what you see.’
Western Minimalism is a post-WWII art movement that strongly influenced the American visual landscape of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Today, Minimalism may be mainstream, but its origins are the 1950’s Beatnik movement, followed by the American counterculture of Anti-Vietnam protests, drug culture, and war-stressed veterans. Additionally, Western Minimalism of the 20th century mirrored non-Western culture; particularly Zen philosophy, and the central concept that simplicity transmits freedom and the essence of existence. But now, after 50 years of Minimalism and a long list of prominent minimalist artists, including giants such as Agnes Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Anne Tuit, what follows?
Today, Contemporary Minimalist painting is a global movement; Minimalism is no longer simply Japanese or American subculture. Contemporary Minimalist painting is now ubiquitous in all genres of art; every physical or online art gallery, regardless of its aesthetic taste and audience, buys and sells original minimalist art. Today, Minimalism can participate in landscape painting, portraiture, commercial design, etc., and it can incorporate all aesthetics and audiences. But Minimalism’s inflation into all territories of contemporary art does not mean that it adheres to no code or precept.
Despite its ability to assimilate into all genres and aesthetics, Minimalist art still upholds its original pillar of simplicity by adhering to the popular idiom: ‘less is more’. Contemporary minimalist painting continues to be a moral perception that apprehends the nature of truth; it reveals the inner qualities and essence of materials and objects.