Further Biographical Context for Chen Shizhong
Chen Shizhong was born in 1944 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1960s. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s epitomize an extremely influential era which engendered an important number of disruptions and questioned the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would eternally mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever influence generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society developed, with revolutionary values and movements evolving in a cradle of innovation. Honesty 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, clean lines and geometrical elements. Exploring further into some of the concepts inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with an essentially ruled-based approach, emptied of any expressive features. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally seduced by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide fame through their depiction of the human form and the lament often associated with the human condition. worldwide, an important number of art movements resounded 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 adopted similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.