Further Biographical Context for Cao Jun
Cao Jun was born in 1955 and was predominantly inspired creatively by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a desire to evolve and reinforce itself, as a reaction to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art materialized by combining essential features of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its status, especially in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the dominant artistic figures of the 1960s remained greatly influential and admired throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for instance, fortified his reputation as a legendary artist, by bifurcating into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such popularity Towards the end of the 1970s, street art, developing from graffiti, was starting to truly captivate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, proving that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Following, the international reach of street art would become extremely influential, representing an extraordinary form of artistic expression.