1958 · Belgium
Historical Context of Belgium
Bordered by France and the Netherlands, the modest country of Belgium has been considerably influenced by its neighbours throughout time and asserted itself as a vibrant and innovative artistic centre in the second half of the nineteenth century. Belgian art productions were crucial in the developing of Surrealism in the 1930s, mainly through the works of Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Among others, Marcel Broodthaers, Wim Delvoye, Francis Alys and Luc Tuymans are key figures of the Belgian art scene of the twentieth century. Greatly influenced by Belgian artists, the Symbolist movement was a major artistic trend, early predecessor to Surrealism, and including artists such as Léon Spilliaert, Jean Delville, Fernand Khnopff and James Ensor. As the era of the avant-garde began to take place in Europe towards the end of the nineteenth century, Brussels turned into a hub for the Art Nouveau movement, which included the architect Victor Horta amongst its founders.
Further Biographical Context for E.D.M.
E.D.M. was born in 1958 and was largely inspired by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a wish to evolve and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which emerged as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art materialized by combining essential features of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The earliest ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly re-emerged and regained its status, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the leading artistic figures of the 1960s remained highly influential and admired throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for instance, fortified his reputation as a legendary artist, by bifurcating into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such fame. Artists such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto attained international success, as they were widely recognized as renowned members of the Italian movement Arte Povera, much-admired in the 1970s.