Further Biographical Context for Anke Classen
Anke Classen was born in 1957 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a wish to evolve and reinforce itself, as a reaction to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art emerged by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The earliest ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly re-emerged and regained its status, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York persisted as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with international artists wandering through the downtown scene, frequenting bars and art galleries, strengthening the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and sophisticated cultural capital. Reaching the end of the 1970s, street art, emerging from graffiti, was starting to truly fascinate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, proving that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Following, the global extent of street art would become extremely significant, representing an astonishing form of artistic expression.