Minimalism – That which is created with a minimum of means

Minimalism is a style of the twentieth-century that has provoked a lot of controversy. It is based on the notion of reduction, the paring down to a minimum of the materials that an artist will use in a given work. Minimal artists who emerged in the late 1960’s engaged in the practice of stripping away to search for an essence.

Visual Arts

The term Minimalism originated in the Visual Arts. M inimalist artist stressed geometry, clarity, precision, and non relational organization of parts. Emphasis was on the real, the material, the here-and-now. It applies to sculptural works by such artists as Richard Serra, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and to paintings by Frank Stella and Agnes Martin among others.


Minimalist music developed with a strong infusion of American popular culture – the harmonic simplicity, steady pulse and rhythmic drive found in jazz and rock-and-roll. Minimalism has also influences of Western classical music: Gregorian chant, medieval organum, the repetitive rhythms of Baroque music.

Although their musical idiom has evolved beyond the austerity of minimalism, some of the most important innovators are La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, Terry Riley and John Adams.

More about Minimalism in Learning Theories, Constructivism and Program Code, Architecture, Literature.