Further Biographical Context for Chen Zui
Chen Zui was born in 1942 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1960s. The 1960s were an explosive decade internationally, bearing witness to proliferation of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the twentieth 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 around the world. Psychedelia, an enormous increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further epitomised the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, based solely on line, colour and geometric form as key constituents of both painting and sculpture. The main 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 developed 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 associated this practice with Minimalism. Globally, many artistic movements resonated the artistic concerns of the previously mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established 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 creatives, 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.