Minimalism has become a little bit of a cool buzzword today. You have millennial authors writing books over books about it… you have big corporations adopting Minimalist styles to increase their appeal… you have Youtubers switching to a ‘Minimalist Lifestyle‘ and then expecting some wondrous results.
All this hoo-ha makes one curious. Where does this whole concept come from? How did the Minimalism Movement come about? Has it impacted the world more than it’s credited for? I’m here to answer all your questions!
Where Does Minimalism Originate From?
Minimalism has its roots in New York in the early 1960s – when artists wanted to deviate from art styles that were considered most mainstream. At the time, there was an increased focus on the dramatics: emotional content, overt symbolism, industrial materials. Minimalist artists fervently renounced all these ideas. Art that was academic and conventional was downright rejected. Instead, minimalism favored the subtle over the dramatic. It was the materiality of the work, rather than the meaning, that took the forefront.
By the start of the 1980s, this wave of Minimalist art had swept through Europe and America. Art dealers, museum curators, art publications….all of them contributed to the triumph of Minimalism. And that’s what furthered the movement that’s still impacting the world today. Which brings me to my next point…
How Has Minimalism Impacted The World?
Minimalism Impact On Design
Design is where Minimalism has consistently thrived. Every other designer today – be it a graphic designer or a sculptor – is focusing on minimalist design. There’s a focus on lighting, space, and uncluttered typography. You’ll find Minimalism in everything from a photo to a simple block of text, or even a meme! Elements such as contact information, navigation or footers are almost hidden in the design. And all of this serves to accentuate the subtlety of the art.
Minimalism Impact On Fashion
It was inevitable that the Minimalist movement would find its way into the realm of fashion. So we are witnessing today! Whether it’s a shoutout from Vogue or fashion designers like Hovman, Sibel Saral and Malene Birger – Minimalism has undoubtedly taken over the fashion world.
Minimalistic fashion allows the wearer to appreciate silhouettes and materiality, but also not overlook the fitting. You’ll see an uncluttered color palette of grays, whites, and blacks with a rare pop of color. Accessories range from delicate, simple jewelry to graphic pieces.
Minimalism Impact On Music
The music of composers like John Adams, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich was the first mainstream combination of music and Minimalism. Much like artists of other forms, musicians adopted a minimalistic approach to renounce existing conventions. Instead, this music had little expressive reference and emphasized simplicity in the harmonic profession and stress repetition. As a consequence, the use of electronic instruments also became more common.
Why Is Minimalism So Relevant Today?
It’s hard to not notice the sheer ubiquity of Minimalism today. Be it the decor of Kanye West’s Minimalist Mansion (but seriously, how is it worth $20 million if it’s minimalistic?!) or the logo of Apple and Uber – Minimalism has developed the status of a ‘cool’ art style that is resonating with more and more people. As our world continues to grow in complexity, there is a high personal demand for the benefits that Minimalism offers. Let’s hope we’ll also get more fascinating art because of that!
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