2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

The Aesthetic of Minimalism
James P. Thompson
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

Minimalism is an innovative arts movement which focuses on the stripping away of unnecessary elements and using limited materials to create a work that is still complex and beautiful. Minimalist composers use a great deal of repetition, while minimalist artists explore geometry to convey greater meaning in their art. Composers such as Steve Reich and John Adams are concerned with creating music that results in pleasant listening, thus bridging the unfortunate gap between composer and audience which prevails in avant-garde music. Likewise, artists such as Frank Stella and Donald Judd produce art which is simple, literal, and relatable. As Stella says, "What you see is what you see." Far from being devoid of expression, Minimalist works provide a more intense experience for an audience, as structural distractions are eliminated. Minimalism is a surprisingly diverse movement whose popularity and controversy make it a fascinating subject to research.

Keywords: Minimalism, Interdisciplinary, Music, Art


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 37-4
Location: MG 1098
Time: 3:30

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