The Minimalist Aesthetic

In my opinion, the most beautiful designs have the least number of parts. This goes for anything we see around us, our cars, our pencils, even our houses. The machine with less parts will be more reliable most of the time simply because there is less to go wrong. That is my ideology with aesthetics. If too many things are applied to a design, it can become cluttered and cumbersome. Therefore, the design becomes less visually appealing and less effective.

The minimalist aesthetic style was created by artists in the 1960s who were bored of classical artistic style. They were attempting to make the movement from a dramatic art style to more of a “cool” style. This style was primarily displayed in painting and sculptures of the time but could also be seen in some of the architecture of the era. In an artistic sense, minimalism can be spotted by its neutral colors and spread-out design components. This movement also attempted to go against the rules of what makes something a sculpture versus a painting. Minimalist style merges these two art forms together into something beautiful.

Early minimalist artists used a style that had more open space within their artwork and viewed things a little differently than the conventional artwork of the time. One of the most common examples of this is the use of light as a material instead of just a visual aid to evoke some different feelings in their viewers. They also decided to remove the metaphors and expressionist elements of their art in order to convey a new way of thinking that wasn’t as dramatic as the other artwork of the time.

A great example of this aesthetic style is the minimalist style that is starting to become popular in homes. Many people find it calming to reduce the number of things in their house to create a seemingly more spacious living environment. This style is often associated with neutral colors like black or white, simple geometric shapes, and minimal decorations.

The most conventional approach to minimalism is to declutter and remove any things that are not necessary to the home. This can have calming effects on the residents of the home due to the neutral colors and lack of clutter and the impression that the residence is much larger than it seems. The extremists of this aesthetic downsize their entire house to a smaller living arrangement in order to remove the unnecessary things in their lives.

While the minimalist aesthetic might not be for everyone, it offers a welcome change to the otherwise repetitive art forms that are full of references and defined by the rules of the art form. Minimalism breaks the mold and blurs the lines between sculpture and paintings to create some of the most thought evoking art we can observe. The smooth geometric features and neutral colors are an amazing change from what we usually think of when we image art or aesthetics.




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4 Comments. Leave new

  • What I love most about minimalist art is that it lets the viewers’ minds fill in the blanks – it lets the viewer associate his/her own connotations with what they’re seeing. To me, that gives this art form a broad range of who it impacts and to what degree they feel emotions about it, which is a beautiful thing. I agree with Natalie, above, that I had not considered the concept of using light as a medium for expressing themselves; when I go to an art museum, it is usually the things that I had never considered before that strike me the most.

    My main question is this: how do you think that minimalism can be employed in the architectural design of city/municipal buildings? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how a city planner/designer could juxtapose the surroundings to have a minimalist-style building, and maybe a good application of that!

    • I think minimalism is already quite prevalent in some modern building designs, as the minimalism aesthetic shares many design features with modern or futuristic styling. However, I do believe that implementing minimalist design in civil applications would be beneficial, as long as the “open space” in the design is something like parks or natural open spaces. As for a minimalist building, I think it would need to have features like large windows to let in natural light instead of artificial light, as well as simple, smooth architecture.

  • Natalie Jagelski
    January 31, 2021 11:12 am

    You brought up some very interesting topics in this post! When I think about minimalism, my mind usually goes straight to minimalism in architecture and home decor, but it’s great that you started the discussion from the art perspective. I’d be curious to hear more about how the minimalist art style merges sculptures and paintings together. Your point about how minimalist artists use light as an art medium is very interesting as well – it’s something I hadn’t really noticed or thought about, so it’s awesome that you included that in your post. Because minimalist artwork tends to focus on open space, do you think the sculptures and artwork made with this aesthetic are typically larger in scale than other styles of art? I’m curious about who some of the well known minimalist artists are.

    You also brought up how some people like to downsize their homes in the spirit of minimalism – have you done any research into tiny houses? Are there any specific materials that are typical of minimalist architecture?

    I certainly find the minimalist aesthetic to be calming, clean, and collected, and this post summarized that very nicely. Great work!

    • The interesting thing about minimalist design is that it is incredibly diverse. Many of the artists who work with this aesthetic tend to combine their sculpture with paintings by having a 3 dimensional element, with some painted elements added in the background. This generates artwork that almost seems to come out of the canvas toward you. As for the scale of minimalist art, it can range widely from massive sculptures that can be found in the courtyards of museums, to small things like sculptures that can sit on a shelf. Tiny homes work on the basis that less is more, just like the minimalist aesthetic, but generally they use the same materials as a full-size house.


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