Further Biographical Context for Cao Liuhe
Born in 1951, Cao Liuhe was primarily influenced by the 1970s growing up. Conceptualism is often perceived as a response to Minimalism, and the leading art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that succeeded were all characteristic of a strong desire to progress and consolidate the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous decade. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, featuring some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outdoors, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given a second chance for the first time since the weakening of Abstract Expressionism almost two decades, the genre reclaimed its distinction through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The cosmopolitan and sophisticated position that New York city held in the 1960s remained just as influential in the 1970s. With multiple global renowned artists gravitating the galleries and downtown scene, the city once again reinforced its reputation as the artistic hub of the era. The critically engaged Mono-Ha movement, comprised of Japanese and Korean artists, blossomed in Tokyo in the 1970s. Discarding conventional ideas of representation, the artists favoured a depiction of the world through an engagement with materials and an examination of their properties. The artworks would often consist of encounters between natural and industrial materials such as stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, mostly left intact.