In leading to an overall happier life. Finally,

 In this study,I aim to find out that less can be more, I will explore minimalism and analyse researchinto where minimalism came from by exploring the De Stijl movement and artistssuch as Piet Mondrian who created beautiful abstract pieces, which moved awayfrom previous more detailed artworks. Then I will be analysing at the movementof Minimalism itself in the 1950’s America as well as Brutalism (minimalistarchitecture) in the 1950/60’s seeing the influence that the De Stijl had onthese movements, mainly minimalism. Afterwards, I will examine the impact ofminimalism on our lives not just in graphic design or art. This will beinformed by watching the documentary, “The Minimalists” which isabout people who gave up their 6 figure wages to express that having less cantake away stress which is leading to an overall happier life. Finally, I willlook at a recent designer who has taken the idea of minimalism into their own handsto create simplistic poster-like designs, this will be the work of OutmaneAmahou who took famous artworks throughout art history and stripped them ofsmall details to create recognisable but minimalistic silhouettes. The Minimalismmovement was an “extreme form” (Tate, 2018)?ofabstract art developed in the USA in the 1950s.

Typically the artworks werecomposed of simple geometric shapes based on squares and rectangles. TheMinimalism art movement can be seen as an extension of the idea of abstract artand it is also very similar to Cubism. Influenced by geometric shapes the DeStijl art movement from the Neverlands 1917, allowed minimalism to be developedwidely into today’s designs. This movement was based on squares and rectanglesas well as lines and pops of bright, primary colors. “Weusually think of art as representing an aspect of the real world (a landscape,a person, or even a tin of soup!); or reflecting an experience such as anemotion or feeling.

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own
Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get expert help in mere 10 minutes with:
  • Thesis Statement
  • Structure and Outline
  • Voice and Grammar
  • Conclusion
Get essay help
No paying upfront

With Minimalism, no attempt is made to represent an outsidereality; the artist wants the viewer to respond only to what is in front ofthem. The medium, (or material) from which it is made and the form of the workis the reality. Minimalist painter Frank Stella famously said about hispaintings ‘What you see is what you see'” (Tate, 2018)? This statementtells me that Minimalism is exactly what it says it is; it is a minimal neededto create an impression. Minimalism cameabout in the late 1950s. This is where artists, alike Frank Stella, began tomove away from the previous movement of ‘gestural art’ (Tate, 2018).

The movement challenged the existing structures but keptgrids and some structure. Earlier abstract movements were an importantinfluence on the ideas and techniques of Minimalism who were aiming to be extremelyminimal and move away from tradition which was often detailed andphotorealistic.  This allcombines together to allow me to explore the influences of Minimalism and theinfluences of what Minimalism can bring to our lives and today’s designs.   The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Milburn &Ryan Nicodemus 2016 Alison and Peter Smithson, Robin Hood Gardens 13, Poplar,London, 1969-1972 Piet Mondrian – Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42  Outmane Amahou, Pop Art, 2012                                    Frank Stella, Hyena Stomp ,1962   De Stijl – PietMondrian  Who influenced today’s designers to use Minimalism,where did Minimalism come from? De Stijl was an artistic movement in the Netherlandsthat started in 1917 and lasted till roughly the early 1930s. “DeStijl” is Dutch for “The Style”. The movement included painters,sculptors, architects, and designers who developed concepts which focused onpurity and the obscurity of figuration in design and art. Alike Cubism,geometric shapes, and lines are used as key features of Minimalism.

(Martinique, P and P, 2016). De Stijl was amovement which brought in simplicity and abstraction by deducing designs to itsessential form and colour. The designs were to consist of only: Horizontal andvertical lines, rectangular forms, primary values white, black, and grey and primarycolors blue, red, and yellow. Furthermore, different parts of the designs do notoverlap, everything has its own independence apart from the interception of thelines as they stretch across the canvas (Mokhov, 2011) which is shown in most of his paintingsalike Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42.   Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a Dutch artist.

He was first to explore the idea of abstract art. In 1908 Mondrian began towork in a brighter colours and significantly contributed in developing the pointilliststyle which is a detailed and precise style of art with small dots and patternsto create an image. He was hugely influenced by Cubism with the abstract styleshe developed. This style then moved into a more simplistic abstract style whichMondrian called Neo-Plasticism. In this style, only the three primary colorscan be used amongst a black grid containing vertical and horizontal lines on awhite ground. This style is hugely associated with the de Stijl movement1917-25 (Tate, 2017). Piet Mondrian,Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red, 1937–42 Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42, is a clearexample of a piece of Piet Mondrian’s work of the De Stijl movement, stickingto the rules which are laid out for this specific movement. The way in whichMondrian has used only four instances of colour creates some negative spacingwhich draws the viewer to explore the outer parts of the painting, creating anintriguing composition.

The minimalistic style makes me feel relaxed, there notiny details in which an audience have to focus in on, its blocks of colourwhich could have any meaning an audience would like it to. I perceive the pieceas a focus on the red block colour which is surrounded totally by black lines.I feel the piece is quite romantic in a sense that the black lines protect andsurround an intimate colour making the red square the center of focus. Youcould also develop this idea further, it could be representing the elements whichyou need in life; happiness symbolised by yellow, relationships expressed byred and getting by represented by blue. Overall, the artwork is interesting andallows everyone to have their own free perceptions of life.

 Overall this movement was the beginning of theMinimalism.                       Minimalism – Frank Stella  Frank Stella wasan American abstract painter. Whilst attending Phillips Academy in Andover, hestarted painting abstract pictures.

After graduation, Stella moved to New Yorkin 1958 (Tate,2018).? Frank Stella,Conspiracy, Lithograph, 1971 (Caviar20, 2018)Frank Stella, “Conspiracy” Lithograph, 1971 – (Caviar20, 2018) This piece is slightly different to mostof Frank Stella’s designs as it only uses black and white tones rather thanbright and retro colours. This piece, looks three dimensional and gives anillusional effect, which is why I was drawn to it in the first place, which iscreated by smaller grey lines within the white ones. The use of the squares equidistanceenlarging outwards allows for this effect within the piece.

As a result ofthis, diagonal lines are created and the whole piece looks three dimensionalcreating movement in the lines if you look straight into it. This work was partof the “Conspiracy Portfolio” which was protesting against the Vietnam war.Knowing this you could look at the piece in a different way and start to seethat the illusion could be the confusion to why the war war occurring at thetime. From my own knowledge, I am aware that some of the soldiers were men whodid not want to go when drafted for the war. In terms of minimalism, the designhas little features which could combine together to have a larger significantmeaning.   Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967 This was one of Stella’s “Famed Protractor Paintings” from 1967.    Frank Stella, Referendum ’70,screenprint, 1970 (Caviar20, 2018)                                                                                                          FrankStella, Referendum ’70, screenprint, 1970 – (Caviar20, 2018) This screenprint created by Frank Stellahas a retro look to it with minimalist detailing. This piece is particularlyinteresting as it has curves as well as geometric shapes which combine togetherto create a confusing pattern.

The reason I call it retro is because of thevintage and faded colour combination that Stella has used. It reminds me of atile you might find in the 1960’s or 70’s. Therefore, as this piece was createdin 1970, Stella is contemporary with his colours and the style of patterns hehas explored. The minimalism comes from the fact that you cannot tell what thepiece is therefore anyone can have their own interpretation of it. Minimalisticpieces tend to have a hidden meaning.

Stella created the screenprint in orderto raise funds for anti-war demonstrations. This was one of the modificationsof Stella’s “Famed Protractor Paintings” from 1967-1970 (SAXOPRINT Blog UK, 2013). Using the method of screenprint allowed Stella to develop sharpedges for his colours which resulted in a clean finish in the design. Finally,the clean finish allows us as viewers to realise the connection between Cubism,abstract art and Minimalism. With hidden meanings Minimalism can make “less more” as itallows viewers to gain their own interpretation of a piece before beinginfluence by the artist’s or designer’s intentions.               Brutalism -Alison and Peter Smithson   Brutalism is anarchitectural style and a movement of design which ranged through the 1950s and1960s. The style was influenced by Minimalism and as a result created new formsof construction and architecture which were built of simple block forms of rawconcrete.

 This movementwas particularly associated with the architects Peter and Alison Smithson. Thearchitect couple Alison and Peter Smithson (Goodwin, 2017) formed apartnership which led through to British Brutalism twentieth century. The pair”stripped down Modernism”, and challenge modernist approaches anddesigns.

Instead of using just modernistic approaches, the couple helped evolveModernism into what became Brutalism, the couple advocated the “streets inthe sky” approach to housing. Meaning accommodating the poorer and takingthem off the streets.  (Goodwin, 2017) Alison and PeterSmithson, Robin Hood Gardens 13, Poplar, London, 1969-1972        Peter and Alison Smithson, Smithdon High School, Norfolk, England, 1954 Both of thesebuildings have a certain look to them, they are not overcrowded in any way theyuse just pure concrete and glass. This pure simplicity is something which wasexplored by many architects in the Brutalist movement where they took a stepback from modernism and made architecture simplistic, only including theessential elements which buildings need. These types of buildings today areusually used as flats or in the case of the Smithdon High School, they are usedas public sector buildings.

 When walkingaround I do not see these buildings as the prettiest buildings, in fact, they arequite ugly after a few years of wear and tear, but we see the practicality ofthe amount of people these large, tall structures can accommodate; therefore,for an ever-growing population, these buildings work in providing for peoples’needs to have a home. Most brutalistarchitecture emerged during the 60’s carried on into the 70’s. The main ideawhich surrounded Brutalism was partially based on the idea of equality withinsociety as well as a place of hope for people who were not so well off.Therefore, Brutalism played an important role in society especially within thecommunist countries (Widewalls, 2017). “The ideaof unity and shared space was somehow best transformed into shape through themeans of brutalist suburban blocks, with lots of open space and moderately tallbuildings and houses that have a capacity to accommodate many people. It wasalso often associated with futurism, a bright outlook on the future, which ishow it was presented at first – close to how people used to imagineutopia.” (Widewalls, 2017) This statement tells me that Brutalism was a movement which changedsociety as a whole giving everyone an equal chance as well as bringingcommunities together within shared space.  I feel that Minimalismhad a massive influence on Brutalism and this formed more than simplistic, butquite ugly, buildings.

It created a society where we can be happier for knowingthat there is cheap accommodation out there, if life gets in the way, forexample if you lose your job. Overall, theidea of Brutalism is practicality. Brutalism was hugely influenced by theminimalism movement in using simplicity in architecture and by taking awayun-necessary detail. Less in terms of complexity, more in terms ofpracticality, the brutalist movement was one that demonstrates that less can bemore.         The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Milburn and RyanNicodemus – (Minimalism – ADocumentary about Important Things, 2016)  Minimalism – A Documentary about ImportantThings This is a documentary which looks into whatmakes people happy in terms of possessions. After watching it once, I wasintrigued enough to feel that it was relevant for me to determining if”less is more”. The documentary opened my eyes to new ideas which thenformed my interest in exploring the subject of minimalism.

Inspiration came from the main two men,Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn, who gave up their own 6 figuresalaries to spread the word of how having a minimalistic life can make you happier.Ryan stated, “I had everything I ever wanted… everyone around me said Iwas successful, but in fact, I was miserable”.

Many people believe you can”buy your way to happiness” but the situation is that having”stuff” was not fulfilling the “void” of unhappiness withinour lives. The more “stuff” that we have, the more dissatisfied webecome; as humans, we are “wired to become dissatisfied” (Minimalism – A Documentary about Important Things, 2016). Joshua let go of a lot of his processionsthat did not add value to his life, consequently, his life became morestress-free, making Joshua happier.

 The documentary introduced the idea ofminimalistic miniature homes where every space is valuable and used.Environmentally, the idea is genius as supposedly we do not use up to 40% ofour homes. This is the idea to do more with less.  Jimmy Carter, the former US president, madea short statement during the documentary about human identity stating that”not one does what one owns”. This tells me that you don’t useeverything that you own, suggesting Minimalism is the way forward. Thepresident described humans as being “longing for meaning” in terms ofthe need for material goods, which” cannot fill emptiness”.

 The American Dream is all about: equality,fairness and everyone having a chance. Greed has taken over the world andtherefore does not allow a chance for everyone to be happy, Minimalism couldhelp this problem. The closing statement was “Love peopleand use things because the opposite never works”. This depicts the impactof minimalism for if you take on a minimalistic life then you should be happy,genuine, add value to your life, be stress-free as you are being intentionallysimple, have a need rather than a want and stop this madness in which we have dugourselves into as a society. This madness being a “want” forthe unnecessary.                    The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Milburn and RyanNicodemus, 2016           Todays Minimalism – Outmane Amahou  Outmane Amahou is a French-based Graphic Designer (Amahou, 2018)who took the artworks of the various art movements and took away all the detailto create minimal posters. Outmane Amahou has taken Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s SoupCan, 1962 and made it simplistic and minimalistic, taking only the one elementwhich tells the story fully and putting it on a plain background. He uses aplain background in his work which are most commonly primary colours.

His 2012Minimalist Art Movement Posters are his responses to different artisticmovements which he changes just using single shapes and blocks of colours whichcreate a representative of each movement individually. He says “wheneverhe thinks of any art movement, there is always one specific visual for eachone”. An example of this is when he thought about Pop Art, the first thingthat he thought of was Warhol’s soup cans. I love the way that Amahou takes onlya silhouette and still makes the poster recognizable and linked to the originalpiece by colour choices. The piece has no added stress within the details whichcritics were quick to judge with Warhol’s original pieces. Tiny details can addstress to one’s eye but with minimal detail, the eye can appreciate the workinstantly without the need to think too much. I would say that Amahou has been heavily influenced bythe Minimalist movement but more so by the De Stijl movement. This is in termsof the choices of colours within his backgrounds being primary colours and thefact that he is taking away stress and time by not creating something detailedand making this recognisable giving us as viewers a challenge to determine whatit is.

Overall, I like the work that he does and feel that it “does whatit says on the tin”!                               Andy Warhol – Campbell’s Soup Cans – 1962                                                                             OutmaneAmahou – Pop Art – 2012                             Conclusion Overall, I conclude that Minimalism can prove thatless can be more.  I have explored the origin of Minimalism byexamining the abstract work of Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s work openly allowed the viewerdecide an interpretation of what they felt it meant.

This was because there wasno reason to why Mondrian laid out his artworks like he did. Therefore, I felt anaudience were getting more out of the artwork than they initially thought. Whenexploring the piece further the artwork begins to create its own meaning, thisinterpretation can mean more to a viewer than a painting of an apple or aportrait.

I then explored one of the main artists of the Minimalism movement,Frank Stella who I found had hidden meanings within his artwork but initially,which yet again proves that minimalism can make more out of less as it allowsviewers to develop their own interpretation of a piece before being influencedby of the artist’s or designer’s intentions. Moving on, I analysed intoBrutalism with a focus on architect couple Alison and Peter Smithson whocreated designs for buildings which took away all the unnecessary and kept to thebasic needs of the buildings. They left concrete bare yet the advantages oftheir designs were that they were able to put more people into less andtherefore accommodate the lower class with this affordable mass of flats.

Thisis another way which proved that less was more within the intentions of doinggood for the community. I went on to watch an intriguing documentary where I discoveredhow minimalism can affect our lives directly by making some dramatic changes tothe amount of “stuff” we own. This documentary opened my eyes to the fact that”stuff” causes stress and the more you have, the more stressed you will be, sohaving less could lead you to a stress free and happier lifestyle where you areable to do more. Finally, I looked at the work from a recent designer, OutmaneAmahou, who took various design movements and changed a famous piece from themovement into a minimalistic poster. I found that the work was still highlyrecognisable but less complex to look at and therefore, less is more as itleads to discovery and interpretation.  In my own designs I have strived to take on a minimalisticapproach to allow the photographs to stand out and be the main body of mymagazine rather than the text itself. I now have the evidence to prove thatless can be more and with a minimalistic approach, appreciation can be shownallowing by the viewer as it is easier to admire and gain wondering thoughtsabout my photographs as well as gain appreciation towards the clear, easy tounderstand design of the magazine.  I decided to try minimalism out for myself to test my owntheory that less can be more and also the fact that having less “stuff” (Minimalism – A Documentary about Important Things, 2016) can allow me todecrease stress as well as dissatisfaction which some of my processions with-hold.

I started by decluttering my room of anything I didn’t use or need from mysurfaces alike my desk, bedside tables and chest of drawers. Next, I sortedthrough all my draws removing un-needed items, this included stationary,clothes and gadgets. Having a massive tidy up not only made my room lookcleaner and bigger but also relaxing to walk in to. I felt it removed thestress of having to move my processions all the time to get to different partsof my room as well as the stress in trying to find the processions I needed.Therefore, this gave me more time to study and relax without any of these otherstresses. I proved my own theory and now own less but all I have is valuable tome and has a use which is why now I enjoy spending time in my room.  Overall, less allowed for more.



I'm Gerard!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out