The simple question “What is minimalism?” has defied simple answers. Artists known as minimalists have distinctively different methods and points of view. This highly readable history of minimalist art shows how artists as diverse as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, and Anne Truitt came to be designated as minimalists during a series of exhibitions in the 1960s.
“I can think of no book that even undertakes a comparable art historical account―not merely tracing a movement year by year, but showing how the movement’s consciousness of itself emerged.”―Arthur Danto, Times Literary Supplement
“Many skeptics deem the sixties too close for comfort and hence not suitable for an art history in the grand tradition. James Meyer proves them wrong. Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties establishes a historical precision and seriousness that many have thought lacking in the recent wave of writing about postwar American art.”―Christine Mehring, Art Journal
“By far the best account to date of Minimalism’s development and the essential point of departure for all future research on the subject.”―Pepe Karmel, Art in America
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James Meyer is associate professor of art history at Emory University.From Publishers Weekly:
James Meyer, exploring the debate over artists like Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Anne Truitt, Robert Morris and Dan Flavin in Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties, attempts to make sense of minimalism as an artistic moment. Meyer (editor of Minimalism) points out that, at first, the term "minimalism" was derogatory, implying that the art was too reduced and abstract. In the late '60s, the label lost its stigma as the work was widely recognized by major museums, and minimalist art headed toward canonization. Meyer analyzes that process as well as the backlash against minimalism by leftists, especially in Europe, who associated it with American cultural imperialism. He also places minimalist art in a broader cultural context, noting the stripped-down, austere sensibility that prevailed in '60s fashion and design, making the book attractive to anyone who enjoys cultural history. 130 b&w, 30 color photos.
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