Maximalism (from the Latin maximus – “the biggest”) is a trend in contemporary art, which is characterized by the extreme complication of forms, color palette and brightness of the composition of works of art. It is found in all traditional arts: literature, music, painting and sculpture, as well as graphic and interior design.
Maximalism is the absolute opposite of minimalism, this trend is characterized by the excessive use of elements of decoration, sensuality and unrestrained imagination of the author. And the main idea of modern art style can be expressed by the motto: “The more, the better.”
Features of maximalism
Maximalism is a trend in which the artist, in his work, primarily concentrates on the process of creativity, and not on its results. Many authors deliberately use complex labor-intensive techniques and maximally saturate their works with visual images.
The main features of maximalism in the visual arts include:
- A pronounced socially critical orientation of the work.
- Widespread use of erotic motives.
- Simultaneous presence in the plot of objects and objects of different thematic orientation.
- Significant dimensions of works of art.
The paintings and sculptures of maximalist artists are often complex puzzles to visualize. They make the viewer think seriously in search of answers to the question of what exactly the author wants to say to the public.
The history of maximalism as a direction of contemporary art began in the late 70s of the twentieth century on a wave of public satiety with works created in the style of minimalism. Another pronounced form of reaction of some artists to the changing demands of society was the emergence of neo-expressionism.
One of the founders of the new movement was the famous American film director and artist Julian Schnabel. In early 1979, a personal exhibition of the author’s works was held in New York, which was a resounding success. Schnabel’s paintings were created from a wide variety of materials and were of enormous size. The artist offered the public an innovative approach to art, based on a mixture of different styles and techniques and an abundance of humorous elements.
Two years later, a joint exhibition of works by Schnabel and another young artist, David Salle, took place. From the moment this landmark event was held, maximalism began to be perceived by the public as a full-fledged direction of the visual arts.
In the following years, dozens of followers from different countries joined the maximalist movement, and the German artist of Iranian origin Daryush Shokof published the “Maximalism Manifesto” in 1991, in which he described the main tenets of the new movement.
In the decades that followed, maximalism became widespread in graphic design and book illustration, and was used by many directors, including Zack Snyder, Tony Scott, and Edgar Wright, to create popular motion pictures. …
The most famous maximalist artists
Among the many supporters of this innovative art movement, there are many bright creative personalities. And yet, the most famous maximalist artists are rightfully considered:
- Julian Schnabel is the author of many large-scale paintings created using fragments of dinner plates. All of his works, presented at the first exhibition in 1979, were sold out even before its opening by enthusiastic fans.
- David Salle is an American artist who creates paintings from layered images of photographs. The main theme of his work for many years has been the nude female nature.
- Daryush Shokoff is the author of the main program document of the movement – “The Manifesto of Maximalism”. In the period from 1981 to 2003, Shokoff was actively involved in painting and took part in dozens of exhibitions around the world, and then completely switched to work in the cinema and achieved great success.
- Julie Verhoeven is a British artist and designer who is best known for her many years of collaboration with fashion brands Louis Vuitton, Versace and Peter Jensen. Her paintings amaze viewers with luxurious fantastic images and color palette.