minimalism is boring

Minimalism is finally getting too popular.

Whether in public or private homes, regardless of whether things are placed horizontally or vertically, the minimalist style of smooth cylinders, cuboids, and rectangles are everywhere – "presented in front of the viewer in their original form."

▲ The minimalist pillar in the picture on the right was criticized for having no details

Minimalism is widely popular and vilified because of its "absolute neutrality, no details, and no identity", which not only shows the "repression" of mainstream aesthetic tastes, but also implies that it does have a psychological function that meets the needs of contemporary people.

▲ Exaggerated benches look better than minimalist benches, aren't they?

In fact, the best way to make "minimalism" less pervasive and disgusting is to learn less from Internet celebrities and avoid blind obedience.

Popularity is "mandatory"

Don't be too quick to criticize minimalism for making everything look the same. Because the point isn't minimalism, it's that it pops.

Once a style catches on, everything all over the world will look the same.

In the years of Impressionism, France was at war with Prussia. The most famous work, "Sunrise Impression" (1872), painted the port of Le Havre in northern France, where the painter Monet spent his childhood.

In the picture, a round of orange-red morning sun rises lazily from the sea, just like you and I got up from the bed in Huinantian in Lingnan. The halo of the sun was so faint that it took a great deal of effort to dispel the gray-blue haze that shrouded the boats and sculls, leaving a yellow reflection on the sea. Other than that, there are no details to ponder.

Impressionist paintings that appear to be colored gas and the flow of light. Prior to this, highly "perfect" classical art was popular, composed of layers of finely detailed brush and ink, like Donatello's sculptures of saints, whichever muscle of the forearm touched by a finger will be faithfully represented , In contrast, Impressionist works are similar to other people's sketches.

Impressionism is popular and has its own background of the era. As the German nation-state replaced France as the dominant power on the European continent; France ended the emperor's rule and began republican politics, and the Paris Commune revolted—an "equal" modernity was on the horizon.

Whether it is Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir, or Cezanne, buildings, rivers, and the sky are all blurred by their paintings, lacking in delicate clarity, but stimulating the viewer's rich imagination. There is so much room for imagination because people experience a downturn in power that has never been seen before in history.

When the Bauhaus became popular, buildings all over the world were horizontal and vertical.

▲ Centennial Bauhaus, ten great works, how many can you recognize?

After World War I, Germany struggled to fulfill its obligations under the Treaty of Versailles, with high reparations and a divided country. The Bauhaus proclaimed "art and technology, a new unity", pioneering a style of charming simplicity that proved to the world that Germany was not so aggressive – but a republic that was progressive, bold, open, avant-garde, rational and refined.

Of course, artists were particularly stingy with materials, probably because Germany was too tight on raw materials at the time.

Today, in Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Beijing, Bauhaus-style architecture still holds admiration. People make reservations for the museum's "Impressionist" exhibition, even if they line up for hours.

A popular style will form an overwhelming "mainstream" trend at a certain period; when it is no longer popular, it will still be sought after. The only time it's annoying may be when it's popular for a while,

Minimalism back to the soul

Minimalism first became popular in the 1960s. Minimalist artists pursue the original appearance of things, and especially hate carving marble into human shapes. Anyway, stone is still stone in the end, and wood is still wood in the end, and cannot be other "objects".

Art, to some extent, is always about deriving some logic from some phenomenon. Even the anarchic nihilism of Dadaism has its purpose – to eliminate the decadence in the world and to establish a new order.

Minimalism just continues to "purify" this order, and at the same time, the artist's creation is also more divided, making plans, giving orders, and supervising production, which does not sound romantic at all.

Like Donald Judd, most of the works are titled "Untitled", and in addition to not expressing any emotion in the works, the artist even worries that the title of the work will distract people. A red copper box, a dozen unsupported shelves… Judd was shaking some inner truth with repetition.

▲ "Untitled", Donald Judd, 1967

Frank Stella, almost ten years younger than Judd. In The Marriage of Reason and Vile 2 (1959), one can only see black and white lines, of different thicknesses, entwined with each other.

▲ "Bilica I", Frank Stella, 1973

Karl Andre's "Equivalent 8" (1966), is to arrange 120 refractory bricks into a two-layer rectangle. He didn't want the viewer to feel that the work had any profound meaning – it was 120 refractory bricks!

▲ "Equivalent 8" by Karl Andre, 1966

Sol LeWitt's Sequence Project 1 (1966), showing white cubes with trees in a grid. According to the author, the best way to watch is to slowly walk around the sculpture and observe the work from different angles and with different ways of thinking. As long as the viewer's eyes adapt to the atmosphere, the information obtained can continue to increase.

▲ Sol LeWitt, "Sequence Engineering 1", 1966

These masterpieces of minimalism, also called "art of the space age," are precise, relentless, and sober. Minimalist artists, like the scientists who sent humans into space, explore the principles of matter, system, volume, and order.

The calm on the surface masks the urgency within. The turbulent 1960s and 1970s, the hippie movement, the May storm and the oil crisis, all created a desire to find some sort of order.

Minimalism was also popular in the design world at that time. A series of household items like Braun, Germany, not only won many awards at that time, but also inspired the Apple company of later generations, making the minimalist style "return to the soul" in the 21st century.


The minimalist style led by Apple has been popular for 20 years, and it has intensified in the past ten years, but the opposition has gradually increased.

Minimalism is on the rise because people do have too much identity anxiety. This anxiety is especially evident in the 21st century. The popularity of the Internet has filled the world with stories of overnight fame, and even ordinary people have the hope of becoming stars.

And while the number of people who desire to be noticed and admired is far greater than the number of people who fulfill that desire, minimalism emerges as nothing less than the best soothing, as its philosophy is to "focus on reducing the Consumption and excess so that individuals can focus on prioritizing their own values”. In a sense, consumer minimalism is "returning to oneself".

▲Frank Stella's "Die Fahne Hoch!", 1959, this monochrome work is one of the most famous works that challenged the Abstract Expressionist movement

At the same time, minimalism also has the illusory effect of "Lacy" spending power. A 2012 psychological study found that voluntary simplification was associated with increased life satisfaction in low-income participants, but not in high-income participants.

To put it bluntly, people who have no money can hide the fact that they can't afford luxury goods through minimalism or "breaking away", or convince themselves that they "don't need" those things; but rich people never engage in minimalism and buy No matter how many "useless" things are, don't worry that there is no place to put them at home.

In addition, political correctness is also an important factor. There are too many details on the items, which will highlight the identity of race, gender, status, class, occupation, etc. If everyone is minimalist and neutral, it looks more peaceful.

People today need minimalism for it to continue to be popular. But whether minimalism should be dominated by one family, I am afraid that the right to choose is also in people's hands.

For example, home design, minimalist style has also been popular for several years. The floor is often self-leveling with cement, and then some iron-framed furniture is placed, and the whole house is black, white and gray. Or small white bricks on the wall, black slate wash basins, every family chooses.

The tenet of minimalism is function over form. But after becoming popular, it has become more form than function.

The small white bricks are attached to the kitchen wall, and it is exhausting to wipe the oil smoke, and the smaller the bricks, the more cracks, and the more difficult the cleaning work is. Black is easy to show water and oil stains, and the bottom of the slate basin has been used for a long time. As for whether cement floors and iron shelves are good for use, it varies from person to person, but the industrial style of screwing at home should not be suitable for most people.

Following a certain style because of its popularity naturally spawns too many cookie-cutter items. If you start from your own preferences and needs, minimalism may not be so universal.

In fact, in general, minimalist items are really better than items with too many details, and not every designer can grasp the scale of details. There are a lot of useless details, very much like an old saying "Fu Erlang is the younger brother of Dalang, the brother of Saburo, and the son of Laolang. There is a tree in the temple. Everyone says that the tree is in front of the temple, and Yu Du said that the temple is behind the tree… …”

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