Minimalism is universal. Abstract is universal. Geometric is universal. That's what an exhibit at The M. H. de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park makes clear, just as the play I saw in Berkeley conveyed the universality of certain emotional issues and ethical choices [see 11/13/16 post].
When I walked over to the entrance wall of "On the Grid," I was surprised to find not cording, but twigs held in place by nails. "Laura's Quilt" (2007) was created by Gyöngy Laky, an American artist born in Hungary.
Once I entered the gallery, I found an interesting and beautiful variety of textile works from around the world that share the same characteristics attributed to the 20th-century school of abstract art known as Minimalism. While the movement included such artists as Donald Judd, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, and Agnes Martin, the pieces on exhibit were created by weavers and other artists/ARTisans, mostly from different cultures. However, they all use a gridded arrangement as a patterning device and/or repetition of simple geometric shapes. As the description of the exhibit states: These objects reflect the movement's core principle that there is a beauty in simplicity that is both universal and timeless.
One of the most compelling works, because of its transparent layers, is also the largest in the exhibit. American artist Rebecca R. Medel meditatively created "Wall of Windows" (1990) with cotton and linen, knotted netting, warp- and weft- resist dyeing (ikat). It has an ethereal quality as it moves between form and formlessness. She states in the title card, "My work is about the spiritual, about infinity, about other than this physical plane of existence." Although the process was complex, the resulting installation is the epitome of simplicity, of minimalism.
What does minimalism mean to you--in art you view or art you create?
What examples come to mind when you think of minimalism and simplicity?
If minimalism and the simplicity of geometric shapes appeal to you, can you describe why? If they don't, what isn't appealing about them?
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