– Highlights

highlight
Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

highlight
Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

highlight
Exhibition

Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

– Learning Events

highlight
Special Event

ARTBAR June 2017

30 Jun, 7.00pm, MCA

highlight
Talk

NAIDOC Week 2017

05 Jul, 5.30pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre

highlight
Event

Master Class For Teachers

09 Jul, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

5 Years of ARTBAR

Roaming carrots, Hummer limos, tea ceremonies and bikes in the galleries. Five years proof that anything can happen at #MCAARTBAR more

MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

From the archives: Unconventional Materials

From the Archives is our blog series unearthing gems from the MCA’s archives, written by resident archivist Stephanie Ferrara more

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

highlight
Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

highlight
Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Objects & Ideas: Revisiting Minimalism

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

11 Apr 1997 to 22 Jun 1997

Artists:

Carl Andre, Stephen Bram, Janet Burchill, Ian Burn, Peter Cripps, Richard Dunn, Mikala Dwyer, Dan Flavin, Gail Hastings, Robert Hunter, Tim Johnson, Donald Judd, Sol Le Witt, Stephen Little, Robert Macpherson, John Nixon, Kerrie Poliness, David Rosetzky, Imants Tillers

Curator:

Linda Michael

about the exhibition

Objects & Ideas: Revisiting Minimalism traced the legacy of Minimalism from the 1960s to the 1990s. Works by key American artists of the 1960s, from the John Kaldor Collection, were presented alongside the works of Australian artists, showing a variety of responses to minimalist art. The exhibition highlighted a number of works from the MCA Collection and offered an opportunity to consider an important art movement in terms of its origins, influence, and resonance with contemporary art.

Minimalism emerged as a movement in American art in the early 1960s, and was typified by the work of artists such as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt. These artists produced abstract art that was distinguished by a cool, geometric refinement and austerity. Complex compositions were avoided – the single unit was emphasised, often repeated in a series or grid. Minimalism was not just an aesthetic style, but also indicated a set of specific ideas and theories about art shared by artists associated with the movement. These included an understanding of the materiality of the art object as anti-illusionistic and self-reflexive.

Minimalism had a strong impact in its time, and continues to be highly influential on contemporary art practice. Its influence on Australian artists was also strongly felt, with artists such as John Nixon, Tim Johnson, Peter Cripps and Imants Tillers adopting the pared-down aesthetic and formal aspects of Minimalism while opening up the more rigid ‘rules’ of the movement to different complexities of meaning. In the 1990s, artists such as Mikala Dwyer, Gail Hastings and David Rosetzky were rediscovering the formal qualities of Minimalism by appropriating and reworking ideas of form and presentation in ways that were often at odds with the purist objectivity of minimal art.