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Posted on April 2nd, 2012, by

Traditionally, art and design tended to the development of new forms and techniques used by artists and designers. At the same time, many artists and designers slipped toward simplification of works of art and design because they stood on the ground that simplicity is a key to the creation of perfect works of art and design. In this respect, Graham argues that such an attitude to art and design is erroneous because art and design cannot be simplified. To put it more precisely, Graham argues that “It seems strange to have to emphasize simplicity. You’d think simple would be the default. Ornate is more work. But something seems to come over people when they try to be creative.”¯ (133). In such a way, the author lays emphasis on the fact that simplicity cannot be a characteristic of a masterpiece. At any rate, Graham lays emphasis on the fact that the simplicity is not the way to the perfectness of artistic works and works of designers. Instead, he insists on the necessity to develop complex and sophisticated works of art and design because this is the way to the perfection and improvement of artistic style.

In actuality, it is hardly possible to agree with Graham in regard to the role of simplicity in the context of the development of art and design. As the matter of fact, the development of art and design was characterized by different trends and simplification of art and design has proved to be as successful as any other trends in art and design. Simple or even intentionally simplified works of art and design has proved to be very effective and attracted the public attention even more than much more complex masterpieces. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the major trends in the development of the early 20th century art and design. Under the impact of modernism, the early 20th century art and design slipped toward simple form. As a result, simplicity, comfort, minimalism became the major characteristics of the early 20th century art and design. However, this trend to simplification did not make the early 20th century art and design any worse compared to the works of art and design created in other time and in different style. In such a context, the argument of Graham that the simplicity is not the way to the creation of great works of art and design is inconsistent.

At this point, it is possible to refer to the example of the masterpiece of the 20th century art, “The Black Square”¯ by K. Malevich. This famous painting seems to be the ultimate piece of simplicity in art because this painting has nothing but the black square which rather provokes thoughts and emotions in the audience than conveys some complex message or some implicit meaning. Nevertheless, in spite of the evident simplicity of this work of art, “The Black Square”¯ is still extremely popular and attracts not only connoisseurs of art but also average people, who appreciate art. At any rate, this painting leaves no one indifferent that is the characteristic of a true masterpiece.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to stress the fact that Graham’s argument concerning the denial of simplicity as the element of the great art and design is inconsistent because simplicity can help artists and designers to create great works of art and design.

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