CONCRETISM

Concretism is a term used to describe a particular type of art that focuses on the physical and tangible aspects of the world. This style of art is characterized by an emphasis on materials, textures, and forms as the primary means of creating an artwork. Concretism was a major influence on several art movements in the 20th century, including Constructivism, Minimalism, and Pop Art.

The first artistic movement to embrace concretism was Constructivism, which emerged in the early 1920s in Russia and the Netherlands. Constructivism was a revolutionary art form that sought to create works that had a direct, practical purpose. The artworks were often composed of everyday materials such as wood, metal, and glass, and focused on the physicality of the objects. Constructivist artworks were not intended to be aesthetic objects, but rather, tools for social and political change. The movement’s most influential artist was Vladimir Tatlin, who designed the Monument to the Third International in 1919, a large-scale sculpture made with steel and glass.

Minimalism, which emerged in the 1960s, was heavily influenced by Constructivism. Minimalism was characterized by highly simplified forms and compositions that reduced the artwork to its most essential elements. Artists such as Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt sought to eliminate any trace of personal expression in their works, instead focusing on the physical properties of the materials used. These artworks were often composed of industrial materials, such as steel, concrete, and glass, and were intended to create a sense of objectivity and detachment from the viewer.

Pop Art, which emerged in the 1950s in Britain and the United States, was also heavily influenced by Concretism. Pop Art was a direct response to the austerity of Minimalism, and sought to re-contextualize everyday objects and images. Artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein created artworks that focused on the physicality of the objects they depicted. These artworks often featured industrial materials, such as aluminum and steel, and were intended to create a sense of detachment from the viewer.

Concretism was a major influence on several art movements in the 20th century, and its influence can still be seen today. This style of art is characterized by an emphasis on materials, textures, and forms as the primary means of creating an artwork. Its influence can be seen in the works of contemporary artists such as Cy Twombly and Richard Serra, who continue to explore the physicality of art.

References

Gablik, S. (1991). Connective aesthetics: A view of Constructivism. Art Journal, 50(2), 16–21.

Meyer, A. (2013). Minimalism. In A. Wood (Ed.), Art since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2nd ed, pp. 591–611). London: Thames & Hudson.

O’Doherty, B. (1969). The idea of the object in Pop Art. Artforum, 8(4), 57–63.

Pincus-Witten, R. (1988). Postminimalism and the poetics of process. Artforum, 26(7), 68–73.

Schimmel, P. (1989). Cy Twombly: A retrospective. Artforum, 28(2), 102–108.

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