Cai Tianxiong

1944

Artist biography

Cai Tianxiong is a contemporary artist considered well established, Cai Tianxiong was born in 1944. Artists Muzaffar Ali, Mayo Thompson, Mary Miss, Robert Bottom, and Rudy Bostic are of the same generation.

Further Biographical Context for Cai Tianxiong

Born in 1944, Cai Tianxiong was largely inspired by the 1960s growing up. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Evocative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an explosion of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact worldwide, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, distinctive to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for example, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.

Cai Tianxiong

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