Further Biographical Context for Charles Criner
Charles Criner was born in 1945 and was primarily influenced by the 1960s. In the art world, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, embodying the culture of mass media through the artworks of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was slowly breaking down the bases on which the production and reception of art were built. Drawing from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists refuted the authority of highbrow art and created a revolutionary movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional expression and focused on art’s theoretical aspect – aspiring to pure visual responses. Simplicity and an void of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly composed of polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. Digging further into some of the concepts inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists like Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with a fundamentally ruled-based approach, emptied of any expressive aspect. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally persuaded by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the lament often associated with the human condition. Internationally, an important number of art movements echoed with the radical changes of the 1960s, often prone to their own regional distinctions. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni initiated Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.