Further Biographical Context for Chu Wilson
Born in 1946, Chu Wilson's creative work was predominantly influenced by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, bearing witness to 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 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, predicated 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 ideas 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. Around the world many artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional specialties 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 distinguishing approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.