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in respond to Wikipedia writers seeking and searching for a credible source (s) about who founded the term (Maximalism) and or started that movement in the arts there are plenty of references about that start back in 1990 in Germany and Italy by the artist Daryush Shokof which can be traced back to the exhibitions in several galleries exhibiting maximalist artworks by shokof or group shows in which many established artists also participated in. One such artist whose works are also mentioned in Wikipedia is Helgi Friedjohnsson from Iceland and or Jir George Dokoupil or even Jeff Koons or Kostabi who all were in different times associated with maximalist artwork exhibiting their works in group shows in such galleries Gallery Juliane Schulze, Galleria Verlato (Italy) and or Bess Cutler Gallery who introduced the movement in the USA in both her galleries in New York and in Los Angeles in 1990. In short maximalism as a term in the arts and movement in the arts has been established, founded and presented by Daryush Shokof who is even up to this date the sole representative of his thoughts under maximalism. Please, check your sources instead of respectlessly asking him he has to have other people confirming this very important fact that he is actually the person who coined and founded the movement of such a most important movement and thoughts in the arts and philosophy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:45:5D79:5929:242D:5074:7E9:9340 (talk) 13:06, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Hysterical realism[edit]

Is maximalism the same thing as hysterical realism? I don't think Pynchon would fit into the hysterical realism genre-- 08:23, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

To the contrary, Pynchon is often cited as one of the foremost examples of hysterical realism. -℘yrop (talk) 03:02, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)


I am a poli sci student, I have seen this word in a political context denoting, Israeli political thought which seeks to claim the area of "greater Israel," ie the maximum that could theoretically be taken under the circumstances. I have also seen it in terms of the "maximalist state" as in the soviet model, which seeks to expand its power as much as possible. Someone help?

Errors & removed quote[edit]

This article is rife with sloppy errors and the quotes from Charlotte River's book 'Maximalism' are invalid because of this. I do not have the original source to properly quote, but have removed it until someone that has access to this source can correctly quote the book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Quebron (talkcontribs) 23:54, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Narrow definition[edit]

It appears that whoever is editing this Wikipedia subject does not welcome the many variations in the interpretation of maximalism as a term,'" which appears to have been independently coined in a number of different places over a very long period of time. Currently, there is even a book published on maximalism as a graphic design style, which many people may remember seeing in a number of recent popular advertising campaigns from companies like Coke. It seems a little deluded to be limiting this to an Asian art movement. I strongly suggest that contributors to this topic take a more circumspect view of how potentially large and rich the topic of maximalism really is, and how much potential development there is within it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brandonhendroff (talkcontribs) 13:18, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Takayoshi who?[edit]

This article includes a rather long quotation by someone named Takayoshi Ishiwari. The section to which I am referring goes as follows:


Takayoshi Ishiwari elaborates on Barth's definition by including a postmodern approach to the notion authenticity. Thus:

Under this label come such writers as, among others, Thomas Pynchon and Barth himself, whose bulky books are in marked contrast with Barthelmeʹs relatively thin novels and collections of short stories. These maximalists are called by such an epithet because they, situated in the age of epistemological uncertainty and therefore knowing that they can never know what is authentic and inauthentic, attempt to include in their fiction everything belonging to that age, to take these authentic and inauthentic things as they are with all their uncertainty and inauthenticity included; their work intends to contain the maximum of the age, in other words, to be the age itself, and because of this their novels are often encyclopedic. As Tom LeClair argues in The Art of Excess, the authors of these ʺmasterworksʺ even ʺgather, represent, and reform the timeʹs excesses into fictions that exceed the timeʹs literary conventions and thereby master the time, the methods of fiction, and the readerʺ.[2]

[Text in bold is the quotation.] -

However, as the link indicates, this quote comes from an MA dissertation(!). Not only that, but an unpublished MA dissertation(!!). This is unacceptable. To have just over two lines on the subject by someone as eminent and influential as John Barth, followed by an entire paragraph by some MA student? --Oulipal (talk) 21:27, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I think your indignation may be well-justified, if a little over-dramatised. Checking WP:SCHOLARSHIP raises a caution about the application of the word "published" in this context: "Completed dissertations or theses written as part of the requirements for a PhD, and which are publicly available, are considered publications by scholars and are routinely cited in footnotes". The reason these are regarded as reliable is that "They have been vetted by the scholarly community; most are available via interlibrary loan." On the other hand "Masters dissertations and theses are only considered reliable if they can be shown to have had significant scholarly influence". Apart from a short article based on this thesis, published in Osaka Literary Review 35 (1996), I don't see much evidence that this author can be said to have had significant scholarly influence. It does appear, however, that someone's industious planting of references to this thesis all over Wikipedia has born some fruit, since it is cited in a book by Louis Armand titled Contemporary Poetics, published in 2007 by Northwestern University Press (ISBN 9780810123601). The citation here on Wikipedia, however, is faulty: page one of the thesis does not contain this passage or any of the key phrases in it. In fact, it is found in the "Conclusions" chapter, which looks to be somwhere around page 75 or 100.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:59, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

No example images?[edit]

Come on! ArdClose (talk) 15:10, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Shokof coined the term[edit]

With 0 Comments Maximalism

Maximalism is a term used in the arts, including literature, visual art, music, and multimedia. It is used to explain a movement or trend by encompassing all factors under a multi-purpose umbrella term like expressionism.

The term maximalism is sometimes associated with post-modern novels, such as by David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon, where digression, reference, and elaboration of detail occupy a great fraction of the text. This sort of literature is also frequently described as hysterical realism, a term coined by James Wood, who argues that it is a genre similar to magical realism.

Novelist John Barth defines literary maximalism through the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s opposition between, “two…roads to grace:”

   the via negativa of the monk?s cell and the hermit?s cave, and the via affirmativa of immersion in human affairs, of being in the world whether or not one is of it. Critics have aptly borrowed those terms to characterize the difference between Mr. Beckett, for example, and his erstwhile master James Joyce, himself a maximalist except in his early works.

Takayoshi Ishiwari elaborates on Barth’s definition by including a postmodern approach to the notion authenticity. Thus:

   Under this label come such writers as, among others, Thomas Pynchon and Barth himself, whose bulky books are in marked contrast with Barthelme?s relatively thin novels and collections of short stories. These maximalists are called by such an epithet because they, situated in the age of epistemological uncertainty and therefore knowing that they can never know what is authentic and inauthentic, attempt to include in their fiction everything belonging to that age, to take these authentic and inauthentic things as they are with all their uncertainty and inauthenticity included; their work intends to contain the maximum of the age, in other words, to be the age itself, and because of this their novels are often encyclopedic. As Tom LeClair argues in The Art of Excess, the authors of these ?masterworks? even ?gather, represent, and reform the time?s excesses into fictions that exceed the time?s literary conventions and thereby master the time, the methods of fiction, and the reader?.

Contemporary maximalist music is defined by composer David A. Jaffe as that which, “embraces heterogeneity and allows for complex systems of juxtapositions and collisions, in which all outside influences are viewed as potential raw material.” Examples include the music of Edgard Varèse, Charles Ives, and Frank Zappa.

Maximalism as a genre in the plastic arts is said to emphasise work-intensive practices and concentrate on the process of creation itself. Works from this genre are generally bright, sensual, and visually rich.

Charlotte Rivers describes how, “maximalism celebrates richness and excess in graphic design,” characterized by decoration, sensuality, luxury and fantasy, with examples including the work of illustrator Kam Tang and artist Julie Verhoeven.

Iranian-born German-based artist Daryush Shokof claims to have popularized the term and concept in the visual art world. As described in his “Maximalist Manifesto” (1991) maximalist art works are:

   Politically aware, with socially critical points of view.
   Mostly include ironic and humorous perspectives in concept or in form.
   Not made to simply oppose minimalist works of art.
   Open to wide views and visionary dimensions that can be fantastic, but not deformed.

Assistant art history professor Gao Minglu connects maximalism in Chinese visual art to the literary definition by describing the emphasis on, “the spiritual experience of the artist in the process of creation as a self-contemplation outside and beyond the artwork itself…These artists pay more attention to the process of creation and the uncertainty of meaning and instability in a work. Meaning is not reflected directly in a work because they believe that what is in the artist’s mind at the moment of creation may not necessarily appear in his work.” Examples include in the work of artists Cao Kai, Ding Yi, and Gu Dexin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8109:8BC0:CE8:CCB9:D783:8859:7230 (talk) 23:22, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

MORE references for Shokof and his movement of Maximalism[edit]

we would be appreciative of wikipedia to actually show any citations verifying anyone on Earth to have had an art exhibition under "maximalism" before 1988 when Mr.shokof started the movement of "maximalism" in his one man show in Germany.anyone from julian schnabel to salle to jim dine to koons and or ............................anyone. thanks. Maximalism

here is another one from Mr.CHAO who actually happens to be in your article about maximalism and his reference to Mr.shokof,s Maximalism;

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daryush Shokof wrote a lengthy manifesto with the title Maximalism. It was published in different catalogues of his one-man shows, as well as the maximalists' group shows in Europe and in the US from 1990 to 1993.

The text to Maximalism opens as below with additional writings about his philosophical thoughts derived from his manifest that lead to his yekishim ideologies later in 1995;

  Maximalism believes in life as the most important phenomenon that occupies mankind's thoughts. Life for a Maximalist means actions committed by every moving creature. Further on a Maximalist observes the beauty or the evil of all moving creatures but does not submit or yield negatively to a state of chaos as thinking of all possible movements to be out of man's control. In other words even though knowing it is not the man's decision or desire that makes the world go around, however, it is the lust of life to positively, constructively and playfully continue on being.

Maximalism began to appear as a movement in painting during the 90s in both Europe and the US, having been initiated in a catalog by filmmaker and painter Daryush Shokof of Cologne, Germany for his 1990 solo exhibition at Galleria Verlato in Milano, Italy. As a visual art form it is elaborate in design, ornate in detail and bright in color. In the catalog for that show Shokof wrote some of his thoughts on Maximalism: "Unbalancing the Chaos = Balance = Life = Maximalism" and "Life for a Maximalist means actions committed by every moving creature." A year later Shokof's "Maximalist Manifesto" began appearing in his exhibition catalogs asserting that, as an aesthetic, Maximalism "is open to wide views and visionary dimensions that can be fantastic, but not deformed". Back in New Haven, at roughly the same time, Maurice Hansen found that, to catch attention in our frenzied environment, the artist can reinforce his concepts with multiple subtexts and elaborate detail. In a captivating, wildly expressionistic style, Hansen flaunted these visual excesses as a self-proclaimed Maximalist. In a 1994 exhibition at the York Square Cinema Gallery in New Haven, "Castles, Kings and Carnivals; The Maximalist style of Maurice Hansen", the artist displayed his fully developed philosophy, vision and style.

there are over 200 articles refereing to Shokof and his initiating of both maximalism as a movement and what he wrote and painted under the maximalist thoughts.another one of these is now in the above lines. it is not right when you and your associates keep deleting his name completely from the article about maximalism in English wikipedia, ad refereing to non founded basis about maximalism "prefigured" this or someone wrote about it "that" , but when, what, and where it actually was presented as a style of art and thoughts of maximalism. all that initiated by shokof in 1988 in Germany.there are cataloges, many articles written in Flash Art magazine, Art Forum, Kunstforum and newspapers alike, but whenever we have sited them inside the article it has been so one sidedly deleted by your associates and yourself. can any of those people who claim to have been a maximalist or................please, write a simple essay what and when they formed and or exhibited works of arts under "maximalism"?! thank you. if you like i personally would add at least 20 more articles and writings from other artists to validify the claim that shokof is the maximalist and started all this movement in 1988 with his own manifest about maximalism.

would you please, write a refrence to your Maximalism details and creativities backing up your claim or is it that you just invented that word?! i could not find your name anywhere as an artist or a philosopher or, a...................?! thank you so much as i read all this exists in lenght in history of works by Mr. Shokof and under Maximalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 14 April 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8109:8BC0:CE8:458E:670E:3F4:DCE9 (talk) whoever tries repeatedly to ignore and or scratch the contributions by Daryush Shokof in the arts and specifically as the person who coined, and wrote and painted works of arts as a Maximalis and the artist who coined the term Maximalism from all writings in the wikipedia can simply refer to the exhibitions of the Maximalists in the following art Galleries Bess Cutler both in Los Angeles and in New York in 1992, Galleria Verlato]], Bologna, Italy and in Milano, Italy in 1991, Kunsthall,New York in 1992, and Gallery Schultze, in Colgne, Germany in 1990 where the first exhibition of the maximalism took place under the title of the Maximalists and with a catalogue introducing the works under the same title in a group show with many notable international artists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8109:8B80:AC:E15F:CF44:49C7:4809 (talk) 04:21, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

One example from the visual arts from before 1990: John Zeaman, "Stella: Off-the-Wall Images", The Record (New Jersey), Sunday, October 25, 1987: "In fact, these three-dimensional assemblages of painted aluminum have become so elaborate, so baroque, so glitzy, that some people have begun calling Stella 'a maximalist'." Of course, the article is filled with earlier examples of the term's use in other areas of the arts, particularly music.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:03, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

More Shokof[edit]

Everything happens at once. It's what Iranian-born German-based artist Daryush Shokof and music critic Simon Reynolds have identified as a defining aesthetic of "Maximalism." According to Shokof's "Maximalist Manifesto" (1991), maximalist art works are:

   1. Figurative.
   2. Politically aware, with socially critical points of view.
   3. Erotic.
   4. Mostly include ironic and humorous perspectives in concept or in form.
   5. Not made to simply oppose minimalist works of art.
   6. Open to wide views and visionary dimensions that can be fantastic, but not deformed.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 13 March 2014 (UTC) 

DEAR WIKIPEDIA editors i am daryush shokof .i founded maximalism in 1988 in Cologne, Germany as an artist and have had numerous people and associates who have all tried to place my maximalism in the article about this artistic movement for over at least 10 years. unfortunately and due to some strange reason all codes, references and writings have been deleted andinstead other names have been mentioned to have been affiliated, inventors, founders, critics, active members of all sorts of artistic activities under maximalism without even mentioning my work?! it is completely ok for me not to mention any of my thoughts about something i worked with when absolutely non of the people who ae mentioned in the maximalism article even knew or have had any artistic activities under the movement maximalism and i am even more happy to see so many people are now involved and associate their names with it, but, can someone please, tell me or show me any writings from any of these great artists and thinkers and philosophers and writers who have ever had any articles printed under maximalism before 1988? now again i insert a very small reference from 1994 regarding a show in new york city and do hope that this comes to your attention that deleting writings with righteous sources can not and will not nullify the works of anyone but only adds to the more so many attemts from many others who were truly involved and are still engaged in the thoughts of maximalism. by the same token , i would be most appreciative to finally read what is it that all these so called maximalists say what maximalism is all about?! what makles a maximalist work of art?! by any of these names and more names who are maximalists now and not even mentioned in wikipedia. if you are unable to code and show references, let me help you again and with my original writings back in 1988 about maximalism; Maximalism is limitless in form and thoughts and depth and shape and colors just like life, cosmos and creation.that is all folks. wide visons, free thoughts and no boundaries to look this or that way. unballancing the chaos=ballance=life=maximalism daryush shokof 1988 colgone, Germany at the maximalists exhibition in gallery juliane schulze — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daryushshokof (talkcontribs) 08:36, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia operates by citing reliable sources. Unless and until someone besides you claims that you invented or coined this phrase, it will not be mentioned on Wikipedia. Someguy1221 (talk) 20:54, 13 March 2014 (UTC)


Maximalist is a quality of excessive redundancy oft exhibited by way of the overt accumulation of appurtenances that reflect current society. In other references the term refers to either the ostentatious displays of the extensive possessions of the super-rich or the obsessive collecting as frequently found in the behavior of garage sale shoppers who accumulate common household goods past reason. The term maximalist can also refer to anything which is excessive, overtly complex and "showy", or providing redundant overkill in features and attachments, grossness in quantity and quality and maximalism the tendency to add and accumulate to excess. The movement of maximalism in reference to the arts was founded by the artist and filmmaker Daryush Shokof in 1990 in Cologne, Germany. Maximalism vis-a-vis the arts is a new way of creating art. Many common elements are shared in the art works by artists who participate in the maximalist movement. The movement was initiated by Daryush Shokof as … — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8109:8BC0:CE8:98B:80D5:F251:F204 (talk) 23:39, 17 March 2014 (UTC)


"...oft exhibited by way of the overt accumulation of appurtenances..."

Ha ha ha ha ha

Rt3368 (talk) 07:56, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it was very obscure and unsourced, so I rewrote it. Bhny (talk) 16:23, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

La Monte Young[edit]

There is a quote by La Monte Young, circa 2003, where he considers how the term "Minimalism" applies to his work; as well as his legacy and impact on the genre. Even though the title of his statement is filed (in print and in audio/video) as "La Monte Young - On Minimalism", he actively includes the idea of "maximalism" in describing certain characteristics and intentions of his piece The Well-Tuned Piano.

Here is the quoted text: "As Dan Wolf wrote in the Introduction to The Well-Tuned Piano booklet, The Well-Tuned Piano is really a maximalist work. We strive to describe music and our musical experiences and musical trends and musical genres. I'm O.K. with being called a minimalist to some degree. I realize that it's only one aspect of my work. Certainly, within The Well-Tuned Piano, which is extremely maximalist, there are elements that we associate with minimalism. I think that eventually people will understand that my entire contribution was much more vast."

I'd like to posit the idea of this quote's inclusion in the article to the folks here at the talk page. I'm not exactly sure of what it's final implication on the subject is and how that impacts what we include in a wiki article. When you read the entire text of "La Monte Young - On Minimalism", he suggests a number of things surrounding how we come to understand "minimalism" and briefly states how the term can sometimes mask elements of a piece (musical or otherwise) that are actually say, maximalist in nature. It seems he prefers the application of "maximalism" towards specific parts of his piece The Well-Tuned Piano. What those specific parts are though, he doesn't seem to go into.

It's interesting to note that the idea of "minimalism by way of maximal sound" is very common in early modern drone music of the 1960's, ie Young and Cage. But this specific group of people (proto-Fluxus) has yet to be included in the "Music" section of the article. As Young is very influential in groups surrounding modern minimalism and maximalism, I think his inclusion in the article can help smooth out some of the gaps in understanding that both terms (when discussing Modern Drone music) are essentially two sides of the same coin.

Source text: La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela at the Dream House: In Conversation with Frank J. Oteri[1]

Source video: "La Monte Young - On Minimalism"[2]

Boteilho (talk) 01:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

I do like this quotation very much, because it shows what a complete muddle can be made of half-understood terms from art criticism. I do not mean to suggest that La Monte has got the concept wrong—quite the opposite. I think it is a well-considered response to the easy pigeon-holing of his work as "minimalisticalisationism". -ish.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:51, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

21st century and Kanye West[edit]

In the section labelled music of this article, I placed an innocuous sentence that goes...

"In the 21st century, maximalist music concepts have been adopted by a wide scope of musical artists,[11] most notably Kanye West[12] who, in his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, produced and wrote songs described as a "startlingly maximalist take on East Coast rap traditionalism."[13]"

In defense of the statement and in consideration to its re-addition to the main article of maximalism, I would simply like to state how aptly it does function within the section of maximalist music and as a piece of the overall maximalist article. Though it was stated to me that it contradicts and wrongly uses the term maximalism, my sentence perfects aligns with the definition of maximalism as given by Milton Babbitt in the paragraph former, which reads "to make music as much as it can be rather than as little as one can get away with." It is the most broad and inclusive definition of maximalism available in that section and the one which most simply summarizes the general concept of the movement. As such I believe that my sentence fits finely into the section and article.

Additionally, my sentence also extends the section of maximalist music into the 21st century and talks of its existence outside of merely classical music, demonstrating the movement's wide breadth of existence.

Here's to hoping of my sentence's re-inclusion. All's best wishes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

I originally added content about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to the article, and continue to see it as one of the most notable examples of maximalism in modern popular music. AndrewOne (talk) 03:01, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^