The Meaning Of Minimalist Aesthetics: Why Less Is More

The concept of minimalist aesthetics has been around since the early days of the 20th century, but it has reached a new level of popularity in recent years as the world has become increasingly cluttered with constant distraction. Minimalist art and design is often seen as a way to create space for contemplation and appreciation of the beauty of simplicity. But what is the meaning of minimalist aesthetics?

To answer this question, it is helpful to look at the origins of minimalism. The use of a minimalist aesthetic in art began in the early 1950s and 1960s as a countermovement to Abstract Expressionism. It was used to create artworks that were free from the drama and symbolism. At a basic level, minimalism was and still is about reducing superfluous details and focusing on the essentials.

This is why it is often associated with the use of monochromatic colors, geometric shapes, and a focus on negative space. By limiting the amount of visual information the viewer is presented with, it allows them to appreciate the essence of the composition in a more meaningful way than when it is overwhelmed with distracting elements.

The aim of art is to create space – space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space within which the subjects of painting can live.

Frank Stella On Minimalist Art
Contemporary minimalist paintings by Antonia Ferrer
Contemporary Minimalist Art by Antonia Ferrer
Minimalist sculpture photography by Stephan Siebers
Minimalist sculpture by Stephan Siebers

Less is More – A Philosophy

But minimalist aesthetics is so much more than a mere trend or the latest movement in art and design. More than just an aesthetic, it is a philosophy of living that has been embraced by artists, designers, and architects of all kinds for generations. It is a way of life that encourages us to embrace “less” and to be mindful of what we choose to bring into our lives and our homes. Defined as “the practice of using as few elements as possible to create a strong visual impact”, minimalist aesthetics is based upon the principle that “less is more”.

The idea of “less is more” is not a new one and has been around for around 80 years. It was famously coined by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the 1940s, and is the idea that the most effective design is one that utilizes the fewest elements to create a powerful result. This same principle can be applied to our lives and homes, as it encourages us to focus on the essential, quality elements of a space rather than fill it with unnecessary accessories, clutter, and decor. By doing this, we are creating an atmosphere of clarity, serenity, and peacefulness rather than one of chaos and disorder.

Ultimately, minimalist aesthetic is about appreciating the beauty of simplicity. Surrounding yourself with quality instead of quantity, letting your intuition decide what you need and what you don’t. It encourages us to contemplate, can give us a moment of peace. It inspires us and gives us space for interpretation and creativity. This is the meaning and power of minimalist aesthetics.

Further Reading

Aesence is a creative studio and digital design magazine with a high curatorial approach. Founded by Sarah Dorweiler, a creative mind and entrepreneur from Berlin, her goal is to capture the feeling of harmony, balance and inner peace in her curatorial work and photography.