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Minimalism is a term referring to styles of visual art and music displaying pared-down design elements. As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post-World War II Western Art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It derives from the reductive aspects of Modernism and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postminimal art practices.
The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture wherein the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalistic design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. The work of De Stijl artists is a major source of reference for such work: De Stijl expanded the ideas that could be expressed by very particularly organizing such basic elements as lines and planes.
Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto "Less is more" to describe his aesthetic tactic of arranging the numerous necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity by enlisting every element and detail to serve multiple visual and functional purposes (for example, designing a floor to also serve as the radiator, or a massive fireplace to also house the bathroom). Designer Buckminster Fuller adopted the engineer's goal of "Doing more with less", but his concerns were oriented towards technology and engineering rather than aesthetics. A similar sentiment was industrial designer Dieter Rams' motto, "Less but better" adapted from Mies. The structure uses relatively simple elegant designs; ornamentations are good rather than many[dubious - discuss]. Lighting, using the basic geometric shapes as outlines, using only a single shape or a small number of like shapes for components for design unity, and using tasteful non-fussy bright color combinations, (usually natural textures and colors) and clean and fine finishes also influence a structure's beauty. Sometimes using the beauty of natural patterns on stone cladding and real wood encapsulated within ordered simplified structures along with real metal produces a simplified but prestigious architecture and interior design. Color brightness balance and contrast between surface colors can improve visual aesthetics. The structure would usually have industrial and space age style utilities (lamps, stoves, stairs, technology, etc.) neat and straight components (like walls or stairs) that appear to be machined with equipment, flat or nearly flat roofs, pleasing negative spaces, and large windows to let in much sunlight.
January 25th, 2014
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