Sam Francis

Untitled, 1984

106.7 X 73 inch


« previous

The Düsseldorf School and the birth of modern photography

next »

Minimalism in the XX Century: Simple Gestures and Essential ...

9 Essential Artists of the The Minimalist School

9 Essential Artists of the The Minimalist School

Several minimalists had their unique way of conveying their sculptures, paintings, and other objects during their time. These artists were essential in paving the way for the minimalist art movement. They are known for their minimalist abstract art, but their contribution to radical and significant concepts of art is iconic in the 21st century. 

Donald Judd
Donald Judd was an American artist, sculptor, and painter who was vocal and aggressive in popularizing various principles regarding minimalist design. Even though he did not like the phrase Minimalism to define his art, his deployment of simplistic designs and geometric forms made Judd a great contributor to the art movement nonetheless. 

Judd equally wanted to remove any traces of artists in his work, thus attempting to delete emotion. To achieve this, he relied on machine-made materials that questioned the nature of art. He described his finished works composed of boxes, stacks, and assemblage as specific objects instead of minimalist. However, the stacks are possibly the most noticeable of Judd's broad oeuvre, which came to describe post-war sculptural practices in America. 

Judd's work drew on the industrialization strategy and aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement, which establishes an impersonal aesthetic because his finely finished stacked forms that hang weightlessly on the wall as paintings and how they were carefully spaced out embraced the sense of production assemblies. 

Carl Andre
Carl Andre is a significant figure who started the New York Movement of the 1960s to bring grid structures and a linear approach to sculptures. He had a close and good relationship with Stella and was inspired by the works of Constantin, a Romanian sculptor. Much like Constantin, he was amazed by the bottom of sculptures. He embraced this amazement and stopped carving for positioning. He would put the raw materials in their surrounding without fixing them.

Robert Morris
Robert Morris and Donald Judd are regarded as founding theorists of Minimalist art. Like Judd, he equally embraced Abstract Expressionism until witnessing the new art movements coming to Europe. Robert explored a variety of art forms such as land art, process art, and performance art and wrote widely. 

Robert Morris commenced the concept of process art which involved the daily placing of materials differently for every installation to highlight the process instead of the end product. 

Dan Flavin

Flavin set up a significant Minimalist art comprising of fluorescent light tubes. He took pride in being a Maximalist, meaning he exploited a basic or even ugly object. He gave up painting to fully establish his new medium. Dan Flavin centered on site-particular installation and how light altered space exhibition.

Frank Stella
Stella is a post-war champion. Motivated by the expressive paint strokes of Abstract Expressionism, he established his works without psychological links or metaphors. Enlarging from black to sharp colors to 3D sculptures, he successfully incorporated non- pictorial features to single out elements of his creation. His black series showed the flatness of the canvas, which abandoned the idea of Renaissance art that employed canvas paintings as a metaphorical window into the earth. 

Agnes Martin
When interrogated about her art, the Canadian-born artist responded that 'nothing in this world applied to her art and that she painted beyond innocence, happiness and beauty.' 


In the late 1950s and early 1960's Martin completely deserted all abstract expressionist tendencies from her way, leading to her carefully calculated grid marked paintings.

Despite her resignation from painting, her finished work mirrors a solid sense of sincerity and balance between emptiness and matter. To assist the viewer in comprehending the emptiness of her canvas, Agnes employs the analogy a gorgeous rose out sight behind the wall is still regarded as a gorgeous rose. Her sparkling canvases are a wall that serves and a channel for folks to encounter the beauty and innocence of this earth.

Ellsworth Kelly

Kelly crossed the traditional boundaries between architecture, painting, and sculpture throughout his career. With a sense of optimism, Kelly embraced abstraction to establish a wide diverse body of work that encompasses and broadens the concepts of ground, color, form, and space. 


While Kelly's paintings focused on planar masses and shapes, his sculpture was persistently two-dimensional. During the seventies, Kelly set up a series of sculptures made of aluminum and steel. As a painter, graphic designer, and sculptor, Kelly, is one of the significant Minimalist figures to implement abstract art.


In the beginning, many regarded Kelly as a plant painter. Before accepting Minimalism as his artistic Expression, he painted plants in simple geometrical lines. Later Kelly employed geometrical forms and line repetitions the same way the minimalist artist did. The popular painter was equally inspired by other movements like pictorial abstraction and sharp edges but did not establish an original form embracing all these movements into an integrated approach of his own.

Sol Lewitt
Sol Lewitt was a main figure in both Conceptual art and Minimalism. His concepts about art practice, such as art production, are regarded as the catalyst of the transition from modern to post-modern eras. He employed his intelligence and conceptual nature to transition between and efficiently utilize several mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and incorporated works that exist only within the process of the universe.

Lewitt met and interacted with other artists such as Dan Flavin and Robert Ryman during his time. During this period, he began focusing on sculpture, and his projects began to be noticed. He used meticulous and precise techniques to construct mathematically based objects that he called structures instead of sculptures. Even though his finished products would eventually evolve, he maintained the value of scientific methods.  

Robert Ryman
Born in the 1930s, Ryman is credited for being one of the leading champions of minimalist painting alongside iconic artists such as Frank Stella. Even though he studied music, in 1958, Ryman met Lucy Lippard, who he wedded, and from then, he started painting full-time. Even though his early works involved experimentation with colors, he eventually embraced canvases that were broadly devoid of colors but instead consisted of white paints. In 1967, Ryman had his first alone show in New York at Bianchini Gallery and later on had an exhibition at the R. Guggenheim Museum. His work greatly stimulated the concept of Minimalism.

Related Artworks You
Might Like

Frank Stella

Sinjerli Variation Ia, 1977

Limited Edition Print

Mixed Media

USD 18,850

Frank Stella

Union (from Eccentric Polygons), 1974

Limited Edition Print

Mixed Media

USD 9,500

Frank Stella

Shards II, 1982

Limited Edition Print


USD 19,500