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Online Class: What Is Minimalism?

Online / Art in Context

Tuesdays, September 14 – October 5, 12 – 2pm


Donald Judd. 15 untitled works in concrete, 1980–84. The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo by Florian Holzherr. Donald Judd Art © 2020 Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

All classes in Eastern time. We encourage you to watch live, but classes can be streamed once the live session ends. See our FAQ.

About the Class

In the late 1950s, Frank Stella’s “what you see is what you see” black-striped paintings introduced a new era within art’s vanguard, one in which a focus on surface, materials, and geometric abstraction threatened to finally replace illusionism. Donald Judd’s “specific objects” and Dan Flavin’s fluorescent-light works pushed the conversation further, interrogating boundaries between an artwork and the space it inhabits, not unlike how Tony Smith and Sol LeWitt similarly questioned the conceptual breathing room between sculpture and architecture. Trace the roots of minimalism in the Bauhaus, De Stijl, and constructivism movements, and discover how new approaches to the work of Agnes Martin, Carmen Herrera, and other pioneering women have reshaped the minimalist canon.

Each week, the 90-minute lecture is followed by a 30-minute discussion session that allows students the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and classmates.


Matthew Palczynski

Palczynski is an art history lecturer, consultant, curator, and educator for academic, corporate, and nonprofit institutions. He regularly leads sessions on innovation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, teaches art history at Tyler School of Art and the Barnes, and presents lectures worldwide for Road Scholar.

Art in Context

Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?