Minimalism in art—identified by its distilled forms and dominant, yet non-complex colors—emerged during the post-World War II Western Art scene. Since then, minimalist design has evolved, grown, and significantly shaped the art world, allowing artists to express deep concepts with only a relative handful of elements.

The beginnings of minimalist design in the art world date back to the late 1950s and the early 1960s, mainly popular in New York. This avant-garde movement, famously known as “minimalism,” rejected the clutter and complexity typical of abstract art of that era. Early minimalist artists include famous names like Frank Stella, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Agnes Martin whose work focused on the bare essentials of art – shape, color, and line.

Minimalism at its core proposed art stripped of impurities- an art object without representational aspects. It was more about the idea and the process, less about the end result, effectively reducing the artwork to its fundamental features. It is this core belief that has continued to shape and influence the progression of minimalist design.

Throughout the decades, minimalist design in art has not only survived but thrived, adapting to changing cultural contexts. By the 1980s and 1990s, the focus of minimalist art shifted slightly towards an exploration of space and light. Artists like Mary Corse and James Turrell leveraged spaces, nature, and artificial light to introduce fresh perspectives into minimalist designs.

These years also experienced a considerable intersection of minimalism with other art genres, such as conceptual art, which led to the emergence of new art styles, like minimalistic sculptures and installations. These hybrid art forms continued to define the evolution of minimalist design.

Entering the 21st century, the digital revolution has further sculpted the contours of minimalist design in the art world. The rise of digital art and graphic design breathed a new life into minimalism. More artists began to play with flat colors, straightforward shapes, and starkly clean lines to create dynamic compositions that profoundly resonated with audiences worldwide.

Moreover, minimalism has taken on environmental connotations in recent years. In a world facing ecological challenges, minimalist design has inspired artists to focus on sustainability, creating art from repurposed or bio-degradable materials, and inviting audiences to question consumption and waste. This application of minimalist art synergizes with the global consciousness towards a minimalistic lifestyle, making it a significant voice in contemporary art.

Minimalist design in art continues to evolve, consciously departing from visual complexity and embracing the concept of less is more. It encourages artists and viewers alike to experience art without distraction, focusing solely on its essence.

Hence, minimalist design’s evolution in the art world can be seen as a journey toward the distillation of the essence of art. Its existence has not only enriched our artistic perspective but also become a mirror reflecting our modern lifestyle preferences, illustrating a noteworthy testament to art’s ability to adapt and evolve in sync with societal trends.

To conclude, minimalist design, from its inception during the mid-20th century to its contemporary digital and sustainable iterations, has evolved in transformative ways while remaining true to its original philosophy. It is an exceptional testament to the immense power, versatility, and resilience of artistic expression. Thus, as we move forward into the realm of art, we will continue to appreciate and value the aesthetic and philosophical evolution offered by minimalist design. Indeed, its journey is far from over. As long as creativity thrives, minimalist design will continue to evolve, reflecting not just art, but also the time, thought, and space it represents. With its simplicity and depth, minimalism is here to stay, marking indelible footprints in the sand of artistic expression.