Further Biographical Context for Chen Aihua
Born in 1943, Chen Aihua's creative work was predominantly inspired by the 1960s. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging parallel to each other. On one hand, Pop espoused the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. Artwork by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the rapidly developing Capitalism of the United States, taking things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their main visual inspiration. A parallel movement was established on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the initial flowerings of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further explored some of the expressive philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, but reduced much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Globally, a number of artistic movements echoed the artistic concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.