Notes on Simplicity of Form

I am always curious to know the artistic motivation and initiation behind minimalistic paintings. What inspires and motivates these seemingly simple compositions? They may all look very similar because of their minimalistic structures but some are overly simplified and appear to be lack of “content”, even boring. Some are overly elaborated while attempting to maintain a minimalistic style, which appear to be lacking confidence and originality. I find Michael Wall’s paintings to be “just right”. They are simple, balanced, complete, at ease, genuine and refreshing. Simplicity of Form: An interview with Michael Wall on Cereal gives insight to his approach and process.

Wall’s paintings balance minimal shapes and lines with swaths of saturated colours. His palette – primary blues, reds and yellows, and a particular shades of nearly-nude pink – has revolved from his background in technical illustration, the confines of which he sought to escape by painting, and his “simple” childhood on England’s Norfolk coast. (by Lucy Brook)

“It’s not a figurative thing. I haven’t been inspired by something directly but sometimes I might see something in my day to day life, something that sits a certain way. It’s nothing in the scheme of things, but it might have an effect on me visually,” he says. (Michael Wall)

“For a while, I got so interested in why we look at things a certain way and how society interacts with them. But the work isn’t meant to be deep, it’s meant to be approachable. I want it to be simple and for people to not be intimidated by it. The shapes come from that idea.”(Wall)


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