In response to the dominance of abstract expressionism in the art world, the Minimalism art movement emerged in the 1960s. Artists such as Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, and Donald Judd experimented with this technique and created a new art form that is still considered groundbreaking today. The minimalist approach to art allowed the viewer to focus solely on the essentials and omit superfluous details. By focusing on the essentials, reducing to simple geometric shapes and monochromatic areas of color, it challenges the viewer to concentrate on what is really important and to leave out unnecessary details. In the course of this, color plays a central role in Minimalism and is used as a means to evoke emotions and achieve an effect on the viewer.
Josef Albers, pioneer of color field painting, emphasized that colors should be considered as autonomous and concrete entities. For him, color was not a mere ingredient, but an independent means of expressing perception and emotion. Colors have the power to evoke deep emotions and memories in us. They can evoke positive feelings such as happiness, calm and peace, but also negative feelings such as fear, stress and sadness.
Ellsworth Kelly, a master of monochromatic color fields, created works such as "Red, Yellow, Blue III" that illustrate the effect of color on human perception. By subtly combining hues and intensities, he created a visual rhythm and a certain tension in the viewer. The minimalist approach to his art allowed the viewer to focus solely on the colors and their effect on the perception of the artwork, creating a deeper connection between the viewer and the art.
Red, Yellow, Blue III, 1966 by Ellsworth Kelly
Donald Judd, on the other hand, used colors as part of a larger concept that explored the relationship between artwork, space, and viewer. His installations, such as "Untitled" (1967), consist of identical geometric shapes designed in different colors that restructure the space. By playing with the viewer's perception and altering the space, Judd creates an immersive experience for the viewer that challenges their perspective and allows them to engage with the artwork in new ways.
Untitled, 1967 by Donald Judd
In summary, the use of pure colors can have a profound effect on consciousness. In today's fast-paced world, where we are constantly surrounded by media noise and our attention span is shorter than ever, abstract minimalism and the use of pure colors can serve as a deceleration from everyday life. At the same time, direct engagement with color and space can unlock our deepest memories, meaning that it is not the artwork that is the focus of the moment, but rather the initial spark that triggers a reaction. This confrontation between man & art is what I am personally set out for.