Between art and design

April 18, 2019

Between art and design

‘Design has to work, art does not’

Donald Judd

Judd's Untitled, 1969
What makes a design different from art? What is the connection between art and design? Can every art medium be called a design? These questions are not new but, today, among many artists, critics and other art people, controversial topic are whether art is designed or in other words, what are the differences that differs art from design. Barbara Bloemink discusses this dilemma between art and design. The title of the book is Design≠Art. Paul Warwick, who is a director of National Design Museum, mentions the title at the foreword. The symbol she inserted between design and art in the title is a mathematical symbol in which, Warwick defined as ‘’not equal to, but not greater than and not less than’’. Warwick uses the definition of “≠”, which can be interpreted, as “design is not same as art there are similarities but differences as well”. As Donald Judd said, ‘’Design has to work, art does not.’’ Design has to be functional, one can call a furniture a design but art cannot be functional it is desirable.
Design Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread
Design Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread

Although, the definition of Minimalism was never defined properly, in fact, many people called differently, such as ABC art, Rejective Art, Cool art and Primary Structures. According to James Meyer the term ‘Minimalism’ defines as:

Denotes an avant-garde style that emerged in New York and Los Angeles during the 1960s, most often associated with the work of Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol Le Witt and Robert Morris, and other artists briefly associated with the tendency. Primarily sculpture, Minimal art tends to consist of single or repeated geometric forms. Industrially produces or built by skilled workers following the artist’s instructions.’’

The minimalist artists aim was not to create any emotions or expressions, but to create a work of object to recall by its physical qualities. As Meyer defined minimalism, during 1960s artists wanted to create something opposite of Abstract Expressionism, which is all about the personal expressions. The minimalist artists wanted to create new works that shows itself with no other meaning behind. This point of view is very well summarized by Frank Stella’s saying

‘’what you see is what you see’’.

Meyer depicted the notion of Minimalism. The objects were ‘factory-made’ and these factory productions were new techniques. The aim of these objects’ was not aesthetic admiration, but to create more physical interactions for the viewers.

 

Meyer Shapiro, in her essay of ‘The Liberating Quality of Avant-Garde Art’ has argued that, paintings and sculpture are the last hand-made, personal objects within our culture. Almost everything else is produced industrially, in mass, and through a high division of labor. were new techniques. The aim of these objects’ was not aesthetic admiration, but to create more physical interactions for the viewers.

Frank Stella, Zambezi, 1959; painting; enamel on canvas, 90 3/4 in. x 78 3/4 in. (230.51 cm x 200.03 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson; © Frank Stella

Frank Stella, Zambezi, 1959; painting; enamel on canvas, 90 3/4 in. x 78 3/4 in. (230.51 cm x 200.03 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson; © Frank Stella

 

NOTES

Bloemink, Barbara J, and Joseph Cunningham. Design Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread. London: Merrell Publishers in association with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2004. Print.

2 The Notion of Minimalism explored by James Meyer. Meyer, James S. Minimalism. London: Phaidon, 2000. Print.

3 In an interview in 1964, as quoted in: Harold Rosenberg (1972) The De-Definition of Art. p. 125

4 James Meyer Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the 1960s (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000)

5 Meyer Schapiro, “The Liberating Quality of Avant-Garde Art”, Art News (Summer 1957)

 

 

SELECTED REFERENCES

Bloemink, Barbara J, and Joseph Cunningham. Design Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread. London: Merrell Publishers in association with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2004.

Judd, Donald. ‘‘Specific Objects.’’ Arts Yearbook-8. New York: Art Digest Inc., 1965. Pp. 74-83.

Judd, Donald. ‘‘Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular.’’ Artforum 32:10 (Summer 1994), pp. 70-79.

Krauss, Rosalind. ‘‘Allusion and Illusion in Donald Judd.’’ Artforum 4, (May 1966).

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. ‘‘Phenomenolgy of Perception.’’ Translated by Colin Smith. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962

Meyer, James. Minimalism. London: Phaidon, 2000.

Meyer, James. Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001, p. 158.

Morris, Robert. ‘‘Notes on Sculpture 2’’ Artforum, vol.5, (Octover 1966) pp. 20-23.

Shapiro, Meyer. ‘‘The Liberating Quality of Avant- Garde Art’’, Art News, Vol. 56, No. 4, (Summer 1957), p. 38.

Smith, Roberta. ‘‘Donald Judd’’, in Donald Judd, ed. Brydon Smith, Ottowa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975, pp. 6-15.



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