Further Biographical Context for Cao Chuanzhen
Cao Chuanzhen was born in 1952, grew up during the 1970s and was influenced by the artistic culture of the time. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a desire to evolve and strengthen 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 journey of Process art materialized by combining essential aspects of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced 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 remained as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with global artists wandering through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, strengthening the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and sophisticated cultural capital. A few noteworthy global movements that defined the era include photorealism, which was initially introduced in the 1960s and reached commercial and critical success in the 1970s, as well as feminism which deeply influenced the visual culture.