Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Meyer’s writing is intelligent, informed, and subtle. The book is well produced and generously illustrated with good quality colour and black and white images.”—John A. Walker, Art Book

“This new volume combines a sophisticated reading of the critical discourse surrounding Minimalism with a step-by-step history of the work’s development and its appearance on the public stage from 1961 through 1968.”—Pepe Karmel, Art in America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300105902
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Sales rank: 1,051,131
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

James Meyer is associate professor of art history at Emory University.

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Table of Contents

1 Spring 1966 11
A tour of "primary structures" 13
2 1959-1962 31
The early years 33
3 1963 43
The emergence of Judd and Morris 45
Truitt at Andre Emmerich 63
4 1964 75
Introduction to the "minimal" 1 : "black, white, and gray" 77
Introduction to the "minimal" 2 : "everyman's infinite art"; Di Suvero's attack 82
Introduction to the "minimal" 3 : the art student's doubt" 85
Flavin, Judd, and Stella interviewed 87
Enter Flavin; "eleven artists" 95
"8 young artists" 109
Morris's plywood show 113
5 1965 117
"Shape and structure : 1965" : the fight for Stella's "soul" 119
Andre's styrofoam show : sculpture-as-place 129
"Specific objects" 134
"Minimal art" and "ABC art" : popularization of the "minimal" 142
6 1966 151
Morris's "notes on sculpture" 153
The serial attitude : Judd at Castelli, "systemic painting," and the Finch shows 167
Seriality as negation 184
Andre's brick show 189
LeWitt at the Dwan Gallery : displacement into conceptualism 200
7 1967 : the critiques of Greenberg and Fried 209
"Recentness of sculpture" : minimalism and "good design" 211
The case for Truitt : minimalism and gender 222
The aesthetics of doubt : "art and objecthood" 229
9 1968 : canonization/critique 245
Judd's Whitney show and Battcock's anthology 247
"The art of the real : USA 1948-1968" and the reception abroad 253
"Minimal art," "anti form," and the social critique of minimalism 262
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