Further Biographical Context for Douglas Calvert
Douglas Calvert was born in 1955, grew up during the 1970s and was influenced by the artistic culture of the time. The 1970s were a period of consolidation and development in the arts, most often defined as a response to the dominant stresses of the preceding decade. Conceptual art developed as a influential movement, a partial evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the artwork into the sprawling outdoors, taking creative production away from commodities and looking to engage with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined elements of conceptualism with other formal reflections, creating cryptic and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain importance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years before, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly influential figures worldwide. New York maintained an influential position in the international art scene, ensuring that global artists continued to flock to the galleries, bars and downtown scene in the city. Towards the end of the 1970s, the emerging practices of graffiti and street art were beginning to gain attention in the fine art community. Artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were working in downtown Manhattan and guaranteeing that spray paint and tagging gained some validity as a fine art practice, a trend which would fully develop and dominate during the following decade.