Definition of minimalism in US English:



  • 1A trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.

    • ‘Tate cites influences on Gallagher's work ranging from bebop to hip hop, from abstract expressionism to minimalism to the postmodern, and identity-based art of the recent decade or so.’
    • ‘Styles as varied as Pop art, minimalism and even performance art embrace the still life style.’
    • ‘Koons's celebrated Rabbit - sometimes nicknamed the Brancusi Bunny - is not simply a parody of kitsch, Brancusi, and minimalism.’
    • ‘Rainer encountered problems in attempting to translate the ‘literalness’ attributed to painterly and sculptural minimalism to live performance.’
    • ‘Artists were engaged in such varied practices as minimalism, Earthworks, Photo-realism, conceptual art, performance art, and feminist art.’
  • 2An avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases which change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.

    • ‘The headliner for the Irving Plaza shows was Tortoise, an instrumental band that dips into minimalism, lounge music, jazz and rock.’
    • ‘Claiming to have been hugely into minimalism and avant-garde music by the time he hit high school, Jim O'Rourke's stock took a blow in the credibility department with me.’
    • ‘It uses ingredients of Javanese Gamelan drumming, Philip Glass-style minimalism and wind up music boxes with spinning ballerinas.’
    • ‘A favorite of the great Czech conductor Rafael Kubelik, St Wenceslas prefigures late twentieth century minimalism with its repetitive chorale theme and luminous string figurations.’
    • ‘Then in 1971 he dropped modernism and embraced the simplicities of medieval church music - at just the same time as Steve Reich and Philip Glass in New York were discovering repetitive minimalism.’