A term coined in 1971 by the American critic Robert Pincus-Witten (1935– ) to refer to developments in American art that succeeded Minimal art (which had been the dominant avant-garde trend of the 1960s); Pincus-Witten first used it in print in an article entitled ‘Eva Hesse: Post-Minimalism into Sublime’ in the November 1971 issue of Artforum. It generally implies a reaction against the values of Minimalism, but sometimes it is used more neutrally, with the term ‘Anti-Minimalism’ being used to suggest a more deliberate antipathy.
Pincus-Witten also coined the word ‘Maximalism’ as a ‘shock value journalistic term’ to characterize various forms of art that were fashionable in the early 1980s, notably Neo-Expressionism. It has also been used loosely as a synonym for Postmodernism. Pincus-Witten published Post-Minimalism: Essays 1966–76 in 1977 and Post-Minimalism into Maximalism: American Art 1966–86 in 1987.