Further Biographical Context for André Coppens
Born in 1948, André Coppens' creative work was largely inspired by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, witnessing a proliferation of modernist philosophies and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was characterised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place globally. Psychedelia, an enormous increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Pop Art was a prominent offshoot of minimalism, a discipline made famous by through the work of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Globally, a number of artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of inspiration for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.