“Argote is really interested in the architectural and formal side of the minimal, but she injects in it her family history about being a Mexican immigrant in America, and brings in all these different things about her upbringing, class, the domestic, her parents, immigration,” said Battista, a tutor in histories and theories at the Architectural Association in London.
The idea of the female minimal is not new: A show at MoMA
in 1994 curated by Lynn Zelevansky foregrounded female artists working in minimal or post-Minimal styles. But it remains contested territory, particularly given Minimalism’s long association with the men; some have argued that many Minimalist works even formally reproduce a particular brand of masculine power. In a wonderful 1990 essay
, Anna C. Chave explored the complicated expressions of masculinity and dominance in a number of Minimalist works. Of ’s
sculpture, for instance, Chave wrote: “The paradigmatic relation between work and spectator in Serra’s art is that between bully and victim, as his work tends to treat the viewer’s welfare with contempt.” If many of the Minimalists eschewed or evaded overt politics in their works, it is certainly still possible to read patriarchal ones in them.