1944 - 2010
Further Biographical Context for Cui Songshi
Born in 1944, Cui Songshi was primarily influenced by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Illustrative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an outburst of new philosophies and movements, truly sensational and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact globally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to delve into some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while getting rid of the expressive and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, distinctive to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for example, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies adopted by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.