Postminimalism is an art term coined (as "post-minimalism") by Robert Pincus-Witten in 1971 used in various artistic fields for work which is influenced by, or attempts to develop and go beyond, the aesthetic of minimalism. The expression is used specifically in relation to music and the visual arts, but can refer to any field using minimalism as a critical reference point. In music, postminimalism refers to music following minimal music.
Coined (as "post-minimalism") by Robert Pincus-Witten, in 1971, it is a term used in various artistic fields for work which is influenced by, or attempts to develop and go beyond the aesthetic of minimalism. In visual art, postminimalism refers specifically to the work of those artists who use minimalism either as an aesthetic or conceptual reference point. The term refers less to a particular movement than an artistic tendency. Postminimalist artworks are usually everyday objects, use simple materials, and sometimes take on a "pure", formalist aesthetic. However, since postminimalism includes such a diverse and disparate group of artists, it is impossible to enumerate all the continuities and similarities between them.
The work of Eva Hesse is also postminimalist: it uses "grids" and "seriality", themes often found in minimalism, but is also usually hand-made, introducing a human element into her art, in contrast to the machine or custom-made works of minimalism. Richard Serra is a prominent post-minimalist.
In its general musical usage, postminimalism refers to works influenced by minimal music, and it is generally categorized within the meta-genre art music. Writer Kyle Gann has employed the term more strictly to connote the style that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s and characterized by:
- a steady pulse, usually continuing throughout a work or movement;
- a diatonic pitch language, tonal in effect but avoiding traditional functional tonality;
- general evenness of dynamics, without strong climaxes or nuanced emotionalism; and
- unlike minimalism, an avoidance of obvious or linear formal design.
Minimalist procedures such as additive and subtractive process are common in postminimalism, though usually in disguised form, and the style has also shown a capacity for absorbing influences from world and popular music (Balinese gamelan, bluegrass, Jewish cantillation, and so on).
For a musical style derived from minimalism, see Totalism (music).
- Chilvers, Ian and Glaves-Smith, John, A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art, second edition (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 569. ISBN 0199239665.
- Kristine Stiles & Peter Selz, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings (Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by Kristine Stiles) University of California Press 2012, p. 686
- Smith, Roberta (April 14, 2011). "Richard Serra's Drawings at Metropolitan Museum of Art", NYTimes.com. Accessed 8 June 2012.
- Kyle Gann. 2001. "Minimal Music, Maximal Impact: Minimalism's Immediate Legacy: Postminimalism". New Music Box: The Web Magazine from the American Music Center (November 1) (Accessed 4 February 2012).
- Minimal Music, Maximal Impact by Kyle Gann © 2001 NewMusicBox
- A Discography of Postminimal, Totalist, and Rare Minimalist Music by Kyle Gann
- MINUS SPACE reductive art