This left artists poorer but freer - assuming that they could find a way to support themselves that still allowed them to create art.
Minimalism, which was arguably the first artistic movement to achieve international importance that was created and developed by American artists, had the fundamentally Modernist goal of reducing painting and sculpture to its essentials - stripping away the surface ornamentation of fashionableness and style to reveal the artist's core principles. To this end, Minimalist artists (even more so than Modernists) avoided representational elements in their work: They were not interested in creating an image that could be "read" through conventional imagery. This was the antithesis of the grand and flattering portraits that earlier artists had created of their patrons.
Minimalist artists in general veered toward sculpture rather than painting, taking advantage of new materials just then being developed (many Minimalist works incorporated new forms of plastic). Artists like Robert Morris and Donald Judd also seemed to believe that it was more easily possible to create entirely new means of expression once they broke away from the flat space of the canvas with its history of representation.
A number of critics saw the extreme rejection of the representational not as a continuation of the tenets of Modernism but as a refutation of them. Mich'l Fried, i