Minimalism, Conceptualism & Post-Minimalism “The sensuous object, resplendent with compressed internal relations has had to be rejected.” Robert Morris April 3: No Quiz /Recommended reading: Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood” (excerpt); Sol Lewitt, “Sentences on Conceptual Art”; Martha Rosler, “Statement,” available on “Readings” page of course website
Robert Morris, and Carolee Schneeman, Site, 1964, performance, New York(compare: below, left) Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863 (avant-garde icon) Morris’s mask is by Jasper Johns “art about art” at the beginning of the avant-garde
Robert Morris (US, b. 1931) Installation at the Green Gallery, New York, polyhedrons made from 2x4 wood painted gray, 1963. Morris theorized a “gestalt” all-at-once comprehension of the forms by the audience.Morris’s installation at the Green Gallery marks the effective advent of Minimal Art
Robert Morris, (right) Untitled (Tangle) cut felt 1967 (left) Untitled, (Pink Felt) 1970, cut felt, dimensions vary with installation. Process Art – “anti-form” or “post-minimal” sculpture dependent upon gravity and chance, simple cutting process, use of “industrial” not-art material Industrial felt is arranged by chance for each installation. The artist’s supervision is not necessary.
Robert Morris, (left) Poster for his Sonnabend Gallery show, 1974 (right) Robert Morris, I-Box, 1961Neo-Dada, Duchampian, postmodernist parody of Western modernism’s myths of the artist: masculine, original, individualist genius
(right) Linda Benglis, Artforum ad, November 1974. This picture (a response to Robert Morris’s self-portrait ad, below), appeared as an ad for Benglis’s show at the Paula Cooper Gallery. First wave Feminism
Linda Benglis, Latex floor painting, 1969 Art in New York, said Benglis, is "all about territory," so there is only one pertinent question: "How big?" How big is the zone you capture and occupy with your painting, your floor sculpture, your video piece, your public persona? How powerful is the image that establishes your presence?
Frank Stella (US, b. 1936) (right) Die Fahne Hoch!, 1959, oil on canvas, 122 X 73 inches. Minimalism / non-relational / elimination of painterly touch/ repetitive/ preconceived(below) compare Jasper Johns, Flag, 1956 (seen by Stella in a 1958 Castelli show) Proto-PopWhat did Stella say about Johns’ Flag paintings? (see Fineberg, p. 282)
Frank Stella, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II. 1959enamel on canvas, 7' 7“ H“My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there. All I want anyone to get out of my paintings and all I ever get out of them is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion. What you see is what you see.” (Stella)
Frank Stella, Quathlamba, 1964, metallic powder in polymer emulsion, 6’5” x 13’7”Painting-sculpture (shaped canvas) to comprehend in a glance
Historical sources for Minimalism (left) Barnett Newman with Cathedra, 1958 Abstract Expressionist “Sublime” (right) Kasimir Malevich, Russian Suprematism, White on White, o/c, 1918
Ad Reinhardt (US, 1907-1967), Painting, 1954-58, 78 x 78 in, Oil on canvas A source for Frank Stella and Minimalism after 1960s
A square 'neutral, shapeless' canvas, five feet wide, five feet high, as high as a man, as wide as a man's outstretched arms 'not large, not small, sizeless', trisected 'no composition', one horizontal form negating one vertical form 'formless, no top, no bottom, directionless', three 'more or less' dark 'lightless' no- contrasting 'colorless' colors, brushwork brushed out to remove brushwork, a matte, flat, freedhand painted surface 'glossless, textureless, non-linear, no hard edge, no soft edge' which does not reflect its surroundings; a pure, abstract, non-objective, timeless, spaceless, changeless relationless, disinterested painting, an object that is self-conscious 'no unconsciousness' ideal, transcendent, aware of no thing but art - absolutely no ‘anti-art.’ (Ad Reinhardt’s “rules” See Fineberg p. 282)“The laying bare of oneself . . . is obscene.”
Agnes Martin (Canadian-born American Minimalist Painter, 1912-2004)(left) Bones #2, 1959, Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 (right) Untitled, oil, ink & wash on canvas, 12” square,1961
Humility, the beautiful daughterShe cannot do either right or wrongShe does not do anythingAll of her ways are emptyInfinitely light and delicateShe treads an even path.Sweet, smiling, uninterrupted, free. . . . Agnes Martin 1973 Agnes Martin in her studio, 1973
Agnes Martin, The Dark River, (detail right) o/c, 75” square, 1961Platonic idealism, meditative practice of “joy” – the look of Minimalism but with abstract “sublime” content intended by artist Detail of The Dark River
Donald Judd (US, Minimalist sculptor, 1928-1994), (left) Untitled, cold rolled steel, 1964(right top) Judd, Untitled, 1978-9 six brushed aluminum hollow rectangles set at 14-inch intervals. (below right) Judd, Untitled, 1964, aluminum boxes Non-relational, “literal” objects Know Fineberg’s interpretation and Michael Fried’s thesis in “Art & Objecthood”
Studied philosophy at Columbia and earned an MA in art history under Meyer Schapiro, Judd theorized his work in a 1965 essay, “Specific Objects,” as “non-relational” objects that supersede the traditions of painting and sculpture. Untitled, 1967 Donald Judd
The essence of sculpture is its reliance on space: “a work can be as powerful as it can be thought to be. . . . Actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface… A work need only be interesting” (Donald Judd) Theatricality and the “end” of Greenbergian modernism
Sotheby installation: (left), Donald Judd,Untitled, 1965, a stack of 10 stainless steel and red fluorescent plexiglass units stacked vertically in 9-inch intervals (right) Frank Stella, Nunca Pasa Nada, 1964, 110 x 220”, metallic powder in polymer emulsion on canvas Detail of a stacked sculpture
Donald Judd, (left) artillery shed interior with permanent installation of 100 titled works, mill aluminum, (each) 41 x 51 x 72 in. The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas
Richard Serra (b. 1939, US), Splashing, 1968, molten lead left to harden, Leo Castelli warehouse. Action / Process Sculpture
(left) RichardSerra, One-Ton Prop, 1969(right) installation, 1969 of Serra’s “prop” sculptures
Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 12ft x 120 ft x 2.5 in, cor-ten steel, Federal Plaza, NYC, 1981-1989, Site-specific commissioned public artwork
Document from legal battle to retain sculpture Federal Plaza before (above) and after (below) removal of Tilted Arc with planters and benches
Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, polished black granite, 1982, Washington DC. (below left) Frederick Hart, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1984. Fills minimalist form with new democratic memorial content that subverts the idealization of the single heroic leader. Compare Washington obelisk, below right.
Richard Serra (left) Torqued Ellipses, cor-ten steel, 1997, Dia Foundation poster(right) Bilbao Guggenhein, 2005, A Matter of Time: a huge permanent installation of eight bent steel sculptures, possibly the largest installation to ever be housed in a museum gallery. The work is 1,200 tons and over 430 feet long in a 32,000 square foot gallery.
James Turrell (US, b. 1943) Spread, light installation, 2003Los Angeles Light and Space Movement that began in the late 1960sNot “conceptual” but “perceptual”http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/turrell/clip1.html#
Robert Irwin (US, b. 1928), Untitled, acrylic disks and light, 1969Los Angeles Light and Space Movement
Robert Irwin, 1234 Degree, openings cut out of windows, MCA San Diego, 1997
Olafur Eliasson, Your Blind Passage, 2010, 90-metre-long tunnel in which viewer’s body is surrounded by dense fog. With visibility at just 1.5 metres, alertness of other senses than sight are needed to orient oneself. “For me Utopia is tied to our ‘now’, to the moment between one second and the next.”
Carl Andre (American, b. 1935), 10 x 10 Altstadt Copper Square, Düsseldorf, 1967, copper, 100 units, 3/16 x 197 x 197 inches overall, Minimalism (right) compare influence: Frank Stella, Die Fahne Hoch, 1959, oil on canvas “non-relational” sculpture-painting: geometic repetition of equal units preconceived
Carl Andre, (left) Twelve Copper Corner, 1975; (right) Seven Steel Row, 1975Brancusi, (center) Endless Column, Tirgu Jiu Public Park, Rumania, 1938“Brancusi is to me the great link into the earth and the Endless Column is, of course, the absolute culmination of that experience” (Carl Andre)
Sol LeWitt (American Minimalist Conceptual Artist, 1928-2007)Floor Structure Black, 1965, painted wood, 18 ½ x 18 x 82 in. Modular “structures” (not sculptures) originating from the cube.“Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.” “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” 1969 (Minimal Art > Conceptual Art) http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/12/05/arts/1205-LEWI_index.html Images from ongoing Lewitt show at Mass MoCA, opened in Spring, 2009, will be on view 8 years
Sol Lewitt, Modular Open Cube Pieces(9 x 9 x 9) Floor/Corner 2 (Corner Piece), 1976
Lewitt, A Wall Divided Vertically into Fifteen Equal Parts, Each with a Different Line Direction and Color, and All Combinations 1970"In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work . . . all planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art." Sol LeWitt: "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art," Artforum, summer issue, 1967
Lewitt, Wall Drawing #146, September 1972. All two-part combinations of blue arcs from corners and sides and blue straight, not straight, and broken lines; blue crayon, Dimensions vary with installation.
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing No. 681 C / A, 1993Instructions:wall divided vertically into four equal squares separated and bordered by black bands. Within each square, bands in one of four directions, each with color ink washes superimposed, 120 x 444 in.
Vito Acconci,Following Piece documentation, installed in 1969 at Barbara Gladstone Gallery, NYC, black and white photographs with text and chalk, text on index cards. Concept: Follow a different person every day until person enters private place.“I was a passive receiver of someone’s time and space.” (Acconci) Conceptual performance art
Francis Alÿs on his walk through Jerusalem in 2005, in which he retraced the Green Line with a leaky paint can. Video still.“Poetic license functions like a hiatus in the atrophy of a social, political, military or economic crisis. Through the gratuity or the absurdity of the poetic act, art provokes a moment of suspension of meaning, a brief sensation of senselessness that reveals the absurdity of the situation. . . .” - Alÿs
Francis Alÿs (Belgian, lives in Mexico City, b. 1959), photographs of a 1995 project in which he painted a green line along an armistice boundary originally drawn on a map in green grease pencil by the Israeli leader Moshe Dayan in 1948. "For the moment, I am exploring the following axiom: Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic."
Map showing the real Green Line and the politics of Alÿs’ poetic (aesthetic) artwork, Green LineThe faint green dotted line (the 'Green Line') represents the armistice line established after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Land to the right of the line was taken by Israel in 1967, and is still occupied today. The purple blobs on the map are new Israeli settlements up to 2007- Jews only - built up since 1967 on occupied land - The orange line is the line of wall under construction by Israel.
Francis Alÿs, When Faith Moves Mountains, video performance, 2002, 500 people, dressed in white shirts and jeans took up shovels in Lima to move a sand dune ten centimeters / http://youtu.be/4eNuqLnFaYA more videos: http://www.francisalys.com/
“Can an artistic intervention truly bring about an unforeseen way of thinking? Can an absurd act provoke a transgression that makes you abandon the standard assumptions on the sources of conflict? Can those kinds of artistic acts bring about the possibility of change?”- Francis Alÿs, 2005
Joseph Kosuth (US, b. 1945) One and Three Chairs, installation, 1965Conceptualism. Tautology / hermetic art about art