A couple of classes ago, we discussed the concept of minimalism in art, and the explanation of what it actually is really struck a chord with me. Minimalism takes the interest out of the object itself, and the experience becomes everything.

Upon further investigation of the subject, I discovered that the minimalist movement involved painting, sculpture and, much to my surprise, music. Minimal music is often referred to as “process music,” meaning it follows strict rules while experimenting with timbre, rhythm, harmony and repetition. Obviously, the music lacks visual aspects of the experience found with paintings and sculptures, but it is also created with limited or minimal materials. Minimal music is composed with these materials as a blatant rejection of the popular, complex musical compositions.

Here are some examples of popular minimalist musicians and what this music actually sounds like:


4 responses to “Minimalism

  1. While on the topic of minimalism, I though I’d share some photos of work by Donald Judd and Dan Flavin I took during a trip I took to Texas with my architecture studio.

    We talked about both of these artists briefly in class, but here’s a little background.

    Donald Judd left New York City in 1972. He had grown tired of the city and purchased several ranches in Marfa, Texas. The expansive wide-open spaces were perfect homes for his large-scale installations. There he started the Chinati Foundation ( With the land, he acquired two large aircraft hangers, which he used to house his “100 untitled works in mill aluminum.” Which is the piece I photographed.


    Dan Flavin is best known for his large-scale installations using florescent light fixtures. The untitled pieces of that I photographed were housed in six U-shaped buildings at the Chinati Foundation. The installations are located in two corridors at the connecting arms of each building.

  2. Minimalism refers back from the work to the context of the work–everything else, that is. Minimalism is about the interaction of the viewer and an object within larger context–all of it is involved.Also, it goes beyond the visual to incorporate all senses.

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