Further Biographical Context for Chen Yuming
Born in 1940, Chen Yuming grew up during the 1960s and was influenced by the artistic atmosphere of the time. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, witnessing a proliferation of modernist philosophies and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the beginning of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was epitomised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place across the globe. Psychedelia, an massive increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The main figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Pop Art was an influential offshoot of minimalism, a discipline that became renowned through the work of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Around the world many artistic movements resonated the creative concerns of the previously mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted 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 idiosyncratic approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.