Early in 1960, Minimalism was as an abstract movement in the subject art. It also dismissed the very idea of both subjective as well as relational painting, the intricacy of Abstract expressionist facade, as well as the other elements of action painting such as the poignant polemics and zeitgeist. Minimalism debated upon the point that excessive simplicity captures the entire sublime representation which is a prerequisite in the art. Minimalism in the painting is linked with painters like Frank Stella. It is opposed to the modernist movement but can be further interpreted as a forerunner to the postmodern movement.
During the mid-1960’s, Process Art was regarded as a creative movement in Europe and the US. The drip paintings of Jackson Pollock have its roots. On the other hand, the employment of the blessing has marked coherence with Dada. The prominent themes in the process of art movement are transience and change. As per the Guggenheim Museum, in the year 1968, Robert Morris had a revolutionary exhibition and essay ascertaining the movement. The process artists were also a part of the issues attendant to the body, the improvisation and the random occurrences, as well as the liberating qualities of certain nontraditional materials like latex, wax and felt.
Land art or earth art as an art movement gained popularity in the US in the late 1960’s and 70’s. Robert Smithson also called it as earthworks. In this form of art, the artwork and the landscape are linked accordingly. Further, such form of art is created using natural paraphernalia like soil, pebbles, rocks, other organic materials such as branches, leaves, logs, and water, along with the introduced materials like metals, concrete, asphalt, other mineral pigments etc. The landscape is considered as the means of creation and hence the sculptures are not placed in it.
THE MOST RADICAL CHALLENGE TO TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF SCULPTURE
The perceptual, as well as structural changes in the forms, define a new movement in the art. The changes further make the movement innovative. However, if we consider Robert Morris’ essays ” Notes on Sculpture”, then the prominent changes in the form are just the distinct extensions of a mere change in the relevance. Post the year 1945, changes in global politics and the recognition of a man’s disastrous capacity as witnessed via holocaust and other atomic warfare had sparked off a restructuring of the relevance in art. The other gestural and organic forms of Abstract Expressionism were a result of the surrealism of the years of pre-war, similarly like the art of the 1950’s era, which held a place of prominence for almost a decade.
Minimalism helped in bringing the concepts of sculpture which were traditional in nature, so as to understand the challenge. It made the understanding of the arts under the category of Minimalism. The beginning of Minimalism in the year 1960’s was a jargon which was associated with 5 various artists: Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, and Sol LeWitt. In spite of the fact that the work of all the artists had same and general attributes, none of them accepted the title of “Minimalist”, probably for the reason that it connoted a reduction in the form. Further, the attributes which governed the Minimalist art were theoretical as well as formal as minimalism stripped the personal forms, gestures and focus on the object.
Minimalist sculpture and its relationship with the spatial environment is probably the most profound challenge which the Minimalism had presented to already existing ideas of sculpture. Minimalism left the focus on verticality by fully discarding the plinth and focused on the horizontality of forms, unlike the traditional sculptures which were represented as abiding their very space on the plinth. The shocking work by Carl Andre, Equivalent 1966 had replaced the plinth with a certain sculpture which re-echoed the shape of the plinth. The sculpture abolishes the traditional beliefs of vertical, upright and figurative representation of the sculpture, as it is made from mass produced firebricks and is placed in horizontal rows. The viewer can inhabit the temporary space, as it’s placed on the floor directly and is also removed from the plinth for there remains no spatial difference in the gallery floor, the artwork and the space inhabited by the onlooker.
By eliminating the base and shifting the directionality of sculpture, Minimalism drastically altered the relationship not only between the sculpture and the surrounding space but also the relationship between the sculpture and the viewer. The minimalist sculpture also examined various other phenomenological sensations via structure and material of work, apart from exploring the spatial relationships and three-dimensionality.
Monument for V. Tatlin, 1966 highlights the interest of Minimalist in using new industrial materials similarly Like Andre’s Equivalent VIII, 1966, but it also lacks the specificity of origin. The materials produced in mass such as metal sheets, fluorescent bulbs, and firebricks aided the Minimalist artists in creating works where the artist’s presence was obscure. The Minimalist aesthetic tends to be inclined towards an artist’s persona, unlike Abstract Expressionism. It was geared more towards the artist’s absence and also offered a thorough disconnection in between the work and the artist.
By determining the impact of Minimalism upon Post-Minimalist movements of the late 60’s and 70’s as well as Land Art, it is evident that though Minimalism was deprived off its stimulus during the late 1960’s, the reactions, as well as the ideas of the movement, afflicted the forms which were assumed by the later sculpture. Minimalism had to suffer due to a restructuring of the probable relevance of the object. However in spite of the change in the form and implementing the new materials, the creations after 1960’s used the know-how of Minimalist aesthetic and hence the involvement and understanding of Minimalism and Land Artist, as well as Post-Minimalists describes the influence of radical Minimalism for creation of sculptures during the 1960’s and 70’s era.