Political Minimalism

About

A nonstandard term, contemporary political Minimalism describes contemporary artistic practices that use forms of Minimalist art to critically deal with cultural or political subjects. Such approaches are noteworthy because Minimalist artists of the 1960s expressly avoided identifiable political content. Exhibitions such as Klaus Biesenbach’s 2009 Political/Minimal at Berlin’s Kunstwerke have highlighted the explicit political engagement of the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Monica Bonvicini, and Alfredo Jaar, among others. Other examples include Glenn Ligon, whose Minimalist monochrome paintings include provocative text about race and identity, and Ai Weiwei, whose Tofu (2012), a white porcelain block, recalls Sol LeWitt’s white cubes while drawing attention to the Chinese government’s lack of accountability in urban development (in China, the phrase “tofu-dreg project” refers to shoddy construction). Recent scholarship on Minimalism, however, has argued for its embeddedness in the politics of its day: the use of industrial materials, such as steel and Plexiglas, spoke to American military-industrial prowess, while repeated modular elements conjured a consumer society of replication. Such insights trouble the concept of “pure form” that has long been associated with the movement, creating a fruitful legacy for contemporary artists working in this vein.

Related Categories

Related Artists

414 Artworks:
Filter by
414 Artworks:
Search
Min
$USD
Max
$USD
$0
$50000+
This is based on the artwork’s average dimension.
Search
Search
Search
Search
Get the Artsy app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019