1940 - 2014
Further Biographical Context for Don Bonham
Don Bonham was born in 1940 and was predominantly inspired creatively by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational 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 20th century, and was characterised 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 globally. 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, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The key 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 stripped away much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Around the world many artistic movements resonated the creative concerns of the above 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 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 becoming known worldwide for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.