In academic terms, “Minimalism” refers to a prominent art movement that emerged in the mid-20th century, particularly in the United States, and had a profound impact on the development of contemporary art. Minimalism is characterized by its reductionist and non-representational approach to art, emphasizing simplicity, minimal form, and the use of basic geometric shapes. This movement sought to eliminate non-essential elements, paring down art to its essential components and encouraging a direct and immediate sensory experience for the viewer. 

Key elements and concepts associated with Minimalism in the academic context include: 

Reduction and Simplification: Minimalism is rooted in the reduction and simplification of artistic elements. Artists sought to eliminate excess, focusing on essential forms, colors, and materials. 

Geometric Abstraction: Minimalist artworks typically feature basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, and cubes. These forms are often arranged in straightforward compositions. 

Repetition and Seriality: Minimalist artists frequently employed repetition and seriality, using identical or similar elements to create systematic and ordered compositions. 

Non-Expression: Minimalist art is characterized by its non-expressive or non-referential nature. Artists aimed to create works that did not convey personal emotions, narratives, or symbolism. Instead, they prioritized the objectivity and neutrality of the work. 

Industrial Materials: Minimalists often used industrial materials such as steel, glass, and aluminum in their works, reflecting an emphasis on the inherent qualities of the materials and their connection to contemporary manufacturing processes. 

Site-Specific Art: Some Minimalist works were created to be site-specific, meaning they were designed for and integrated into specific architectural spaces or environments, challenging the traditional separation of art from its surroundings. 

Literal and Literalist Art: Minimalist artists embraced literal and literalist approaches, emphasizing the actual and physical presence of the artwork, without metaphorical or symbolic interpretations. 

Reaction to Abstract Expressionism: Minimalism emerged as a reaction to the emotionally charged, gestural, and expressive qualities of Abstract Expressionism. It represented a significant shift toward a more rational and systematic artistic approach. 

Prominent Minimalist Artists: Key figures in the Minimalist movement include artists such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella, each of whom contributed to the development of Minimalist principles. 

Influence on Contemporary Art: Minimalism has had a lasting impact on contemporary art and has influenced subsequent movements such as Conceptual Art, Land Art, and installation art. 

Minimalism is recognized as a significant movement that challenged established artistic conventions, encouraged a reevaluation of the relationship between the viewer and the artwork, and offered a new perspective on the nature of art and aesthetics. In an academic context, the study of Minimalism contributes to a deeper understanding of the role of reduction, simplicity, and the object in contemporary artistic expression.