Reductive Art – The Concept
Rather than being a distinct genre of art, this art form is a collective term for some Modern Art styles with same or similar underlying philosophy. The essence of Reductive Art lies in its simplistic designs rather than intricate work, clarity against obscurity, basic forms against elaborate patterns, and simple color schemes in the place of fantastical palettes. This philosophy took roots in America around the late 1950s, as a rebellion against the existing art movements. Finally, this art form resulted as a reaction of the modern day artists against the idealism of 1960s. Accordingly, the role of themes or subjects took a backseat and the significant of ‘concept’ was underlined.
Among the Modern Art forms and alternative names that can be categorized as Reductive Art are ABC art, Color Field, Minimalistic art, Cool art, Rejective art, Geometrical Abstraction, and Anti-illusion art. Therefore, Reductive Art is a pluralistic approach that finds expression in varied forms and techniques.
Precision and asymmetry are the prime attributes of Reductive Art. Geometrical Abstraction is mainly set in continuous forms and limited (or, only primary) colors. The idea (concept) for a particular pattern becomes the driving force behind the execution of these works. Therefore, Reductive art is free from the bounds of historical, social, political, religious, or mythological inspiration for the choice of subjects. It is claimed that ‘intellectual rigor’ for conceptualization of the works has precedence over the technique involved and medium used.
The Artists & the Artworks
Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s (1872-1944) ‘Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow’ (1930), ‘Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red’ (1937-42), and ‘Composition 10’ (1939-42) are works having rectangles of varying sizes painted in primary colors. The focus of Minimalism is to create as simple a design as possible. Russian painter Kazimir Severinovich Malevich’s (1879-1935) ‘Black Circle’ (1913) and ‘Black Square’ (1915) are strongly Minimalistic in nature. American Sculptor Tony Smith’s (1912-80) 1962 sculpture ‘Free Ride’ is remarkable example of Minimalistic designing. ‘Harran II’ (1967) by American painter and sculptor Frank Stella (born 1936), ‘Untitled’ (1990) by the American artist Donald Clarence Judd (1928-94), ‘Bronze Gate’ (2005) & ‘Untitled’ (1967) by American sculptor, artist, & writer Robert Morris (born 1931) are some of the other famous works in Reductive Art.
Minus Space is a curatorial project dealing in Reductive Arts, which has a strong web presence, a big community of artists, and a large collection of submitted works. Various members curate the exhibitions of submitted Reductive Art works of its members. This is an example of how aesthetics of such Minimalism and related genres continue to generate interest for the artists and the viewers alike