AESTHETIC STUDY | Minimal

MINIMALISM
IT’S THE IDEA OF REFINEMENT THAT POSSESSES YOUR MIND. DISPIRITED AND DOWNHEARTED, YOU SEARCH FOR HARMONY. YOU KEEP VISUALIZING THAT SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR SOUL, THE HOUSE OF EVERYTHING YOU ARE, FILLED WITH DREAMS AND DESIRES, BUT FREE FROM THE MUDDLE. KEEPING ESSENTIALS, GETTING RID OF CHAOS.

And while you dream visually, clean lines and bright colors appear. Simple images and pale tones seem beautiful. All white walls. Sunlit bright room. White, navy, gray, and black. A scent of wood sage and sea salt. A white and chrome bicycle leaning against a wall. Rolled steel, concrete, wood, and glass. A mysterious satisfied pleasure in harmonies of particular colors, textures, and atmospheres. Everything is in its right place. And that’s how you find yourself chasing minimalism – as an idea, as a style, as a mindset.

We all crave uncluttered space – in our mind it equates with clear thoughts. And minimalism seems like a cure for overwhelming present state of the world. While we search for quintessential things to put in the context of our carefully considered life, we discover ­– consciously or intuitively – the hidden code of it. What is minimalism? We seek to answer this question in these four fragments.

Words & Visuals

Lily McFly

LESS IS MORE

The way of ‘less’ instead of ‘more’ can also result in things of beauty and excellence

It is a 3-word expression of the central principle of minimalism: that choosing the way of ‘less’ instead of ‘more’ can also result in things of beauty and excellence. It is a quotation from architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who adopted the aphorism “Less is more” to describe his aesthetic tactic of creating an impression of simplicity in his works. His creations represent the perfect synthesis of the minimalist idiom – form and function: a window serves as a wall, a floor as a radiator. And while simplicity and minimalism are not synonymous, they spring from the same impulse: to strip away the “noise” in order to reveal pure “sound”.

 

Even though this phrase was originally used by Robert Browning in his poem in 1855, however, it is now associated with Mies. His approach still inspires millions of modern creatives. Probably, one of the most successful examples of that is Visual Supply Company or VSCO, an art and technology company building a network of digital tools, services and community for creative photographers. VSCO is a resource for photographers – a collection of digital filters, many of which took their aesthetic cues from the times of analog film. One of the founders of VSCO, Greg Lutze described their uniqueness:

We call them “presets” rather than “filters” because they do more than just apply something on top of an image. It’s about creating a look that assists the image, but doesn’t dominate it. Our hope is that it’s less about looking at the editing of an image than it is about looking at the subject, the content, and how an image is framed.

W H I T E

White color is an essential element of minimalism. The white background creates the effect of barenakedness; it gives visual comfort, intensifying the sensation of lightness and flight through space. Inminimalist interior design walls are usually white. The idea is to create a space that looks clean, which is why white pairs so well with the style, emphasizing every single detail. You can never go wrong with white. Simply put, it reflects more light.

In minimalist photography white background helps visual artists to find out what is the minimum needed to tell a story. It reveals the paradox of minimalism: by removing everything, you see everything.

There is a more philosophical explanation of white color aesthetic. As we know, one of the inspirations for European minimal art was suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich.

He used a white background in many of his art pieces, not to mention his all-white painting “White on White”. But for all his works white was more than just a neutral background. Malevich once described the white background of Black Square as a ‘desert’. He said:

The contours of the objective world fade more and more and so it goes, step by step, until finally the world “everything we loved and by which we have lived” becomes lost to sight. But this desert is filled with the spirit of nonobjective sensation which pervades everything.

Q U I N T E S S E N T I A L

Quintessential in minimal interior is “built to last but never boring, a mix of established favorites andlatest finds from emerging names across fashion, home, and beauty… Storied objects united by their staying power and the intention of their making.” –  TheLine.com

 

Quintessential in minimal music is “music with repetitive structures… Based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops.” – Philip Glass

 

Quintessential in minimal fashion is a little black dress. “Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult.” – Coco Chanel

 

Quintessential in design is wabi-sabi. “Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry.” – Leonard Koren

 

Quintessential in poetry is haiku. “lily: out of the water . . . out of itself” –  Nick Virgilio

LITERARY MINIMALISM

SHE is a tall dark beauty containing a great many beauty spots: one above the breast, one above the belly, one above the knee, one above the ankle, one above the buttock, one on the back of the neck. All of these are on the left side, more or less in a row, as you go up and down:

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Excerpt from ‘Snow White’ by Donald Barthelme

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