Acquavella Galleries is pleased to present less: minimalism in the 1960s, an exhibition featuring nineteen sculptural works by preeminent artists associated with the artistic movement that is now referred to as minimalism.
The term “minimalism,” now widely understood as an artistic and aesthetic style, was not always so ubiquitous. Associated with eliminating non-essential forms and exposing an object’s essence, this art historical movement emerged between 1961 and 1969 from a crucible of invention by mostly New York based artists—with artists in London and elsewhere also having a significant impact. The new aesthetic expressed itself sculpturally through largely un-pedestalled objects in a wide variety of materials. Despite varying in scale, texture, form, and palette, each work possessed a common enigmatic simplicity and clarity.
The artists included in this exhibition were at the center of this new movement in the early stages of their artistic practices; a single work by each artist is on view to underscore the conception of minimalist practices as a collective movement. Although today some of minimalism’s groundbreaking artists are better known than others, this installation revisits the impact their work had at the time of its creation. Many of the artists included here were also featured in Kynaston McShine’s seminal Primary Structures exhibition at The Jewish Museum in 1966—including Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Larry Bell, Ronald Bladen, Judy Chicago, Walter de Maria, Dan Flavin, Robert Grosvenor, Douglas Huebler, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, John McCracken, Robert Morris, and Anne Truitt—which is now posited as a critical juncture in the development of minimalism; however, the word “minimal” is mentioned in the exhibition catalogue only once, a reflection of the relative newness of the style.
The show is organized by Director Michael Findlay, and is on view from February 1–March 10, 2023 at Acquavella’s New York location.